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Multi-IEM Review - 320 IEMs compared (Xiaomi Piston 2 added 08/21/14 p. 958) - Page 847

post #12691 of 14470
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

To be honest I hadn't heard of it until now. I still haven't been convinced that going balanced is worth it with IEMs, but it's certainly interesting if it improves the RE-400. I do use my RE-600 balanced with the HM-901 every once in a while - it's an excellent combination. 

I just found out about it the other day, but it's apparently already for sale (the bundle goes for $250) - I share the same sentiment about balanced output but I just like the fact that it's amp is purpose built for the RE-400 essentially (and to a lesser extend the RE-600), that being my overall favorite IEM to date.  If it does in fact improve upon them, it may very well end up in my collection haha.  It was also confirmed that it is capable of being Rockbox'd, assuming they have the desire to do so with this model.

post #12692 of 14470

Joker, I wonder if you can help me out.

 

I currently have a pair of Sony MH1C's and while I like the general warm, fun sound you get from these the cable and the fit of them especially while on the move means I'm in the market for a set of IEM's that can meet my needs better.

 

I need some IEM's that are comfortable for periods of extended use, so when riding a bike or walking or in noisier environments, so they need to not be microphonic but have fairly good isolation. I love the bass on the MH1C's, and the mids and highs have a fairly good balance, while the highs are never fatiguing. I mainly listen to Rock, Indie, Pop or easy listening music, so a warmer sound signature is preferable, with clear mids and highs. I'm a bit of a bass head in that I appreciate a full bodied bass that's tight and keeps you on your toes, immersed. I'm after a bit of a wider soundstage than the MH1C's can offer, too.

 

My budget is up to about $100-150 dollars. I'm in the market to invest in a medium-range set of headphones that will last me a LOT of use, so the build quality and sound have to be up to scratch.

 

Any ideas? I've been looking into the MEElectronics A161p but I'm not sure if there are better alternatives out there.

post #12693 of 14470

Joker, thanks for the thread. It has to be the best roundup of IEMs out there :D

 

Based on the review here and others too, I picked up a pair of SteelSeries Flux In-Ears to replace my ageing Sennheiser CX500s. I much prefer the sound of the SteelSeries but I have a massive issue with the fit - I just can't get them to stay in my ears (which makes an in-ear monitor pretty useless :p).

 

I've tried all the included tip sizes, but none of them work for me. With my Sennheisers, I used the included double flange tips (the medium sized, I think) and they worked quite well. Are there any I can buy which would fit on my SteelSeries?

 

Cheers

 

p.s. apologies if this would be better off as a new thread, but I thought I'd try here first.

post #12694 of 14470
The A161p's balanced signature might suit your music but their cable is rather thin and microphonic. Even worn with cable over ear there are still some microphonics. I'm not sure I would pay msrp for them but they were a no brainer when they were on sale for $40 a couple of months ago.
post #12695 of 14470

Wait, so the JVCs are the only real choice for me then?  (in terms of v shaped with mic for £30-50)

post #12696 of 14470

The Meelectronics M-Duo would be a good option, it's relatively V-shaped but not harsh, has a mic and remote and excellent build quality. Costs 55 pounds on Amazon UK.

post #12697 of 14470
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny2ears View Post
 

Yeah, i understand that, but since you have  larger experience, in terms of sond signature you can undoubtedly give a good opinion/advice. And in terms on IEM's, anything new worth to take a look in par of the M3 or Cw31's?

 

Off-topic:In your opinion does the Cal 2 have a "worse" bass than cal 1? I've seen ppl here on forum  saying it has bigger soundstage, more confy, but some say the sound is not as good as...

 

The Fidue A63 sounds quite promising so far as a reasonably-priced IEM with good mids/vocals: http://theheadphonelist.com/brief-thoughts-tdk-ba200-brainwavz-r3-fidue-a63-a81-ear-earphones/

 

As for the CAL!2, I don’t know about “worse” but I feel it has a little more bass than the CAL!1, which some listeners probably won’t like.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by imackler View Post
 

Really intrigued by the InEar StageDiver 2... But from reading various reviews and impressions, there are comments regarding a warm sound and possibly a "veil." Should I take this to mean its sound signature is more like the Westone house sound than for example Etymotic or Vsonic? 

 

Thanks! 

 

That’s somewhat fair – I wouldn’t say the SD-2 is veiled but it’s no Ety. Clarity is a little better than with the RE-400 and GR07 but not quite up there with an ER4S or VSonic VC1000. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelglam View Post
 

I’m on the hunt for a pair of earphones that I can finally settle with for a long time. I’ve been through a bunch of different ones over the past 5 years, and I end up tiring of each of them. It’s exhausting and frustrating.

 

For a long time I was using Sansa players (Fuze and Clip+), but recently I’ve been using a FiiO X3, which I like better than the Sansa players.

 

I’m thinking that if I describe which earphones I’ve been through and what I didn’t like about them, perhaps folks here that have experience with some of these may be able to point me to a particular pair that might suit me.

 

Brainwavz M2: I found these to be decent and stuck with them for a while, but eventually was dissatisfied with the separation (seemed congested), timbre, and imaging. Perhaps my biggest problem with them, however, was the dimensionality of the instruments: everything seemed two-dimensional. This led to a perception of “fakeness,” and I didn’t find them to be sufficiently natural-sounding.

 

HiFiMAN RE-0: These did not stay with me very long. I fully appreciated the clarity and precision, but they were much too bright, analytical, and thin-sounding for my taste.

 

Meelectronics CC-51: These were the first ones that I really thought were going to stick around. Punchiness was excellent, and bass, clarity, and detail were good. But I eventually got tired of them for two main reasons. First, they weren’t open enough. Instruments didn’t seem to have enough air around them. And second, because the way they positioned things just sounded off to me. If I were to use a concert analogy, it felt like I was sitting about 30 rows from the stage. This was particularly the case with the midrange. I don’t know if this was due to the way they soundstaged things, because the punchy bass seemed more forward/dominant than the midrange, or because of the deficiencies in the airiness/openness department, but whatever the reason, I found myself straining to listen to the midrange and eventually got rid of them.

 

Meelectronics A151: My first and only armature IEM. These stayed with me the least amount of time out of all of the IEMs I’ve tried. I really liked the midrange and intimacy, but it was too much midrange to the detriment of highs and bass. I came to view them as sounding like I was listening to an old transistor radio, even though the liquid and smooth midrange was attractive.

 

Philips SHE3590: These were the second ones that I really thought were going to stick around. They seemed pretty balanced to my ears. In addition, the lower mids seemed to deliver sufficient warmth when called up on but not in an overwhelming fashion like the Vsonic GR99’s (see below); the bass and lower mids seemed sufficient but also controlled. The positioning was also good: they were not too forward sounding like the JVC HA-FXT90’s (see below), not too distant sounding like the Meelec CC51’s, and not too laidback sounding like the HiFiMAN RE0’s. Eventually, though, I was dissatisfied with the resolution, dynamics, and space/air around the instruments. Important details were absent and they just didn’t deliver the energy necessary to realistically convey the punk/metal/indie rock that I like probably more than any other genres. Imaging was decent, but instruments didn’t have enough air/space around them, which also sapped some of the energy from the music. Sibilance and graininess were also slight issues, though not too bad; not nearly as bad as the JVC HA-FXT90’s.

 

Vsonic GR-99: These were a fun IEM. I was initially completely enraptured with these because they were so warm and smooth in the lower midrange. So much bass! And unlike the Meelec CC-51s, the mids were not pushed back too far in the soundstage. But eventually I desired more clarity. The bass is impressive tonally, but throws a veil over everything else. Ultimately, these were just too veiled and chesty for me, and I want something with more clarity. For what it’s worth, these mated better with my Sansa Clip+ than my Fii0 X3.

 

JVC HA-FXT90: These were the latest ones that I tried, and also the most expensive. When I first tried them, I was immediately impressed with the openness, airiness, timbre, separation, imaging, and clarity. They best most of the other IEM’s that I’ve tried in those areas. And the energy…wow!  None of the other IEMs that I’ve tried have conveyed the energy of the punk/metal/indie rock music that I like as convincingly. But as much as I liked those qualities, these JVC’s are just too aggressive and bright. Unlike any other IEM I’ve had, I actually find myself being fatigued by these. I can only listen to them in small time periods, and some days my ears/brain just can’t handle them at all. They are also grainier and more revealing of sibilance than any other IEM that I’ve had, to the point of being distracting sometimes. I love the clarity of the JVC’s and hearing them clearly made me realize the inferiority of the Vsonic GR-99’s. But I also know that I want something with a bit more presence in the low end to warm up the sound when it requires it. Regarding the latter aspect, the Philips SHE3590’s come closest to getting this right; in comparison, the JVC’s do not do it enough and the Vsonic GR-99’s do it too much.

 

I think if I were to sum things up, I would say that I’m searching for something that mainly combines aspects of the Philips SHE3590 and the JVC HA-FXT90, with perhaps a bit of the Vsonic GR-99 thrown in. In other words, I want something that: A.) Has the overall sound signature and soundstage placement of the Philips; B.) The clarity, timbre, separation, and openness of the JVC’s; C.) Conveys energy better than the Philips and more like the JVC’s, but not as aggressively as the JVC’s so that I don’t get fatigued (in other words, a slightly more tamed version of the JVC in the energy department); and D.) Has a bit of the warmth and non-graininess of the Vsonic GR-99. On the latter, though, I want to stress “just a bit” because the Vsonic's have way too much. In fact, the Philips may have enough of that warmth, though I wouldn’t mind just a tad more if possible. I can also deal with a small amount of graininess/sibilance like the Philips has (the JVC’s have way too much), but I do like the non-graininess of the Vsonic’s.

 

My budget is a maximum of $150.

 

Thanks for any advice/insight!

 

Btw, if this is "too much" of a post for this thread, let me know and I will edit this post and start my own thread on the matter instead.

 

You seem to lean towards a v-shaped sound but a very particular one, that doesn’t have peaks in the ~5-8k range and doesn’t recess the mids very much. Unfortunately I’m not aware of anything that fits these requirements perfectly – I’m sure there’s something out there but everything I’ve tried so far that comes to mind (RHA MA750, Onkyo HF300, EPH-100, T-Peos H-100, etc, etc) can be knocked off the list for one reason or another. I almost feel like with your requirements you might be best off attacking a cheap and highly capable IEM like the 3580 (or better yet Sony MH1C) with a parametric equalizer.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by modulor View Post
 

I just found out about it the other day, but it's apparently already for sale (the bundle goes for $250) - I share the same sentiment about balanced output but I just like the fact that it's amp is purpose built for the RE-400 essentially (and to a lesser extend the RE-600), that being my overall favorite IEM to date.  If it does in fact improve upon them, it may very well end up in my collection haha.  It was also confirmed that it is capable of being Rockbox'd, assuming they have the desire to do so with this model.

 

A rockboxed HiFiMan DAP would be great. Looks like this one will fit in a pocket, too, which is a plus.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muessig View Post
 

Joker, I wonder if you can help me out.

 

I currently have a pair of Sony MH1C's and while I like the general warm, fun sound you get from these the cable and the fit of them especially while on the move means I'm in the market for a set of IEM's that can meet my needs better.

 

I need some IEM's that are comfortable for periods of extended use, so when riding a bike or walking or in noisier environments, so they need to not be microphonic but have fairly good isolation. I love the bass on the MH1C's, and the mids and highs have a fairly good balance, while the highs are never fatiguing. I mainly listen to Rock, Indie, Pop or easy listening music, so a warmer sound signature is preferable, with clear mids and highs. I'm a bit of a bass head in that I appreciate a full bodied bass that's tight and keeps you on your toes, immersed. I'm after a bit of a wider soundstage than the MH1C's can offer, too.

 

My budget is up to about $100-150 dollars. I'm in the market to invest in a medium-range set of headphones that will last me a LOT of use, so the build quality and sound have to be up to scratch.

 

Any ideas? I've been looking into the MEElectronics A161p but I'm not sure if there are better alternatives out there.

 

The A161P doesn’t have nearly as much bass as the MH1C. You might want to look into the Shure SE215 for the combination of build quality + no cable noise + good bass with nonfatiguing sound. It’s not as bassy as the MH1C but it’s not far behind, either, and the mids and highs are quite clear. It’s also built quite well.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellis View Post
 

Joker, thanks for the thread. It has to be the best roundup of IEMs out there :D

 

Based on the review here and others too, I picked up a pair of SteelSeries Flux In-Ears to replace my ageing Sennheiser CX500s. I much prefer the sound of the SteelSeries but I have a massive issue with the fit - I just can't get them to stay in my ears (which makes an in-ear monitor pretty useless :p).

 

I've tried all the included tip sizes, but none of them work for me. With my Sennheisers, I used the included double flange tips (the medium sized, I think) and they worked quite well. Are there any I can buy which would fit on my SteelSeries?

 

Cheers

 

p.s. apologies if this would be better off as a new thread, but I thought I'd try here first.

 

 
Someone asked me about the same on THL here: http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/steelseries-flux-in-ear/#comment-2144 . You can see the comment chain there – I recommended they get the Klipsch Oval gel tips for the Flux and it seems to have worked out.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentJ View Post
 

Wait, so the JVCs are the only real choice for me then?  (in terms of v shaped with mic for £30-50)

 

There’s a lot of v-shaped earphones out there but not many that are at least as good as the AM-800 in a similar price range and also have a mic and decent build quality.

post #12698 of 14470
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

Someone asked me about the same on THL here: http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/steelseries-flux-in-ear/#comment-2144 . You can see the comment chain there – I recommended they get the Klipsch Oval gel tips for the Flux and it seems to have worked out.
Oh nice, thanks. Glad to know I'm not the only one - seems like the Flux silicon tips are just made out of some crappy silicon with no friction or something.

Do you have any idea which size I might like for the Klipsch tips? Are all mediums roughly equal? Annoyingly it seems the only way to buy them is to get several pairs of the same size.
post #12699 of 14470

Joker...how do the id America Spark compare to the Yamaha EPH-100?

i know it's been long since you reviewed the Spark...but if you remember, then thank you....

post #12700 of 14470
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellis View Post


Oh nice, thanks. Glad to know I'm not the only one - seems like the Flux silicon tips are just made out of some crappy silicon with no friction or something.

Do you have any idea which size I might like for the Klipsch tips? Are all mediums roughly equal? Annoyingly it seems the only way to buy them is to get several pairs of the same size.

They are roughly the same size as Klipsch oval tips.

post #12701 of 14470

I literally am getting custom silicone sleeves from 1964EARS for the Flux. Yes, I know that paying $100 for a $50 IEM seems crazy, but I really do like the Flux's sound. (Plus, I hadn't heard of the Klipsch oval tips fitting when I ordered them. :p )

 

That said, 1964EARS have taken sleeves off their website since then (I ordered them in late December), so you'd have to go somewhere else for that option.

post #12702 of 14470
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post
 

You seem to lean towards a v-shaped sound but a very particular one, that doesn’t have peaks in the ~5-8k range and doesn’t recess the mids very much. Unfortunately I’m not aware of anything that fits these requirements perfectly – I’m sure there’s something out there but everything I’ve tried so far that comes to mind (RHA MA750, Onkyo HF300, EPH-100, T-Peos H-100, etc, etc) can be knocked off the list for one reason or another. I almost feel like with your requirements you might be best off attacking a cheap and highly capable IEM like the 3580 (or better yet Sony MH1C) with a parametric equalizer.

Thanks for the reply and recommendations, ljokerl, and for putting together such an amazing thread.  Such an awesome resource for IEMs!

 

A couple of things in response to your message.

 

In your opinion, what do you think the Yamaha EPH-100's are missing out of what I am seeking?  I ask because another poster here also mentioned them in response to my message (thank you much Amitl!), which led me to read your review of them on the first page of the thread.  I had never read about them before, and from your description, they seemed like they might be a good match.

 

I really like your idea of getting something like the Monoprice's or the Sony's and EQing them.  The only problem is that I'm now a big fan of the FiiO X3, which does not have an EQ at this point (only individual bass and treble controls).  FiiO may be implementing one with future firmware updates, but it's not clear when that will happen.

 

Given that situation, I think I may want to try at least one more pair of higher-up IEMs before going with the cheaper + EQ option.  (When FiiO implements an EQ on the X3, I will definitely try that option.) My budget remains $150 max, and all of the ones you mentioned that came to mind are within my budget.  

post #12703 of 14470

Joker, I just wanted to say that I got a box from a fellow head-fier with some Aurisonics ASG-2s as well as V-Sonic GR07 Bass Editions, and I have to say the GR07 BEs are just about the ideal tonality for me, maybe I'd want something with slightly more forward vocals and a touch more air, but other than that, these are excellent. I kind of fixed the isolation issues I had when I had my GR07 MK2 by putting the stems of some Klipsch tips I cut up onto the stem of the GR07, and then attaching Meelec tri-flange tips I cut down to bi-flanges for comfort. They still don't isolate very well for me though. Any suggestions for something like the GR07 that also isolates better? Maybe the Fidue A81?

post #12704 of 14470
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellis View Post


Oh nice, thanks. Glad to know I'm not the only one - seems like the Flux silicon tips are just made out of some crappy silicon with no friction or something.

Do you have any idea which size I might like for the Klipsch tips? Are all mediums roughly equal? Annoyingly it seems the only way to buy them is to get several pairs of the same size.

 

I only have medium Klipsch gels. I feel like the Klipsch gels run a little smaller than the stock SS tips on average but I don't have the other Klipsch gels to confirm.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amitl View Post
 

Joker...how do the id America Spark compare to the Yamaha EPH-100?

i know it's been long since you reviewed the Spark...but if you remember, then thank you....

 

The Spark is more v-shaped, with less deep bass and treble extension and mids that are not as rich and full.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drm870 View Post
 

I literally am getting custom silicone sleeves from 1964EARS for the Flux. Yes, I know that paying $100 for a $50 IEM seems crazy, but I really do like the Flux's sound. (Plus, I hadn't heard of the Klipsch oval tips fitting when I ordered them. :p )

 

That said, 1964EARS have taken sleeves off their website since then (I ordered them in late December), so you'd have to go somewhere else for that option.

 

That’s a little crazy, alright :p. Hope they sound even better with a custom fit!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelglam View Post
 

Thanks for the reply and recommendations, ljokerl, and for putting together such an amazing thread.  Such an awesome resource for IEMs!

 

A couple of things in response to your message.

 

In your opinion, what do you think the Yamaha EPH-100's are missing out of what I am seeking?  I ask because another poster here also mentioned them in response to my message (thank you much Amitl!), which led me to read your review of them on the first page of the thread.  I had never read about them before, and from your description, they seemed like they might be a good match.

 

I really like your idea of getting something like the Monoprice's or the Sony's and EQing them.  The only problem is that I'm now a big fan of the FiiO X3, which does not have an EQ at this point (only individual bass and treble controls).  FiiO may be implementing one with future firmware updates, but it's not clear when that will happen.

 

Given that situation, I think I may want to try at least one more pair of higher-up IEMs before going with the cheaper + EQ option.  (When FiiO implements an EQ on the X3, I will definitely try that option.) My budget remains $150 max, and all of the ones you mentioned that came to mind are within my budget.  

 

RE: the EPH-100 – it sounds to me like you’re after something leaner. The EPH-100 has a ton of bass, a pretty warm tone, and a unique treble character with the energy coming in pretty high up in the spectrum. It’s a quicker driver compared to the GR99 so it doesn’t have the VSonics’ issues, but considering that you’ve gravitated towards the CC51 and SHE3580 (aside from presentation) I think the tonal balance and thickness of the EPH-100 might be problematic for you.

 

P.S. Yes, those came to mind because they are in your budget ;)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mechgamer123 View Post
 

Joker, I just wanted to say that I got a box from a fellow head-fier with some Aurisonics ASG-2s as well as V-Sonic GR07 Bass Editions, and I have to say the GR07 BEs are just about the ideal tonality for me, maybe I'd want something with slightly more forward vocals and a touch more air, but other than that, these are excellent. I kind of fixed the isolation issues I had when I had my GR07 MK2 by putting the stems of some Klipsch tips I cut up onto the stem of the GR07, and then attaching Meelec tri-flange tips I cut down to bi-flanges for comfort. They still don't isolate very well for me though. Any suggestions for something like the GR07 that also isolates better? Maybe the Fidue A81?

 

Honestly I'm not convinced the A81 is as good as the GR07 quite yet. Jury's still out on it though. I would say Phonak 232 with Comply tips but that costs quite a lot more and doesn't have more forward vocals. The Alclair Reference would be even better but its bass is more in line with the GR07 than the GR07BE.

post #12705 of 14470

To be honest, I'm partly doing this to get a sense as to whether I'd like how a CIEM feels in my ear. I know silicone sleeves are going to feel somewhat different than acrylic shells, but if I don't end up minding the feel I'm probably going to save up my money for a CIEM as my next major pruchase.

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