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Multi-IEM Review - 321 IEMs compared (NarMoo S1 added 09/04/14 p. 966) - Page 840

post #12586 of 14601

    i may not be exactly correct but , customs are difficult to fly by , they have fitting issues at times , even after molding it to your initial ear impression . and they will just cut you out off your surroundings , im thinking of getting one , may be a cheaper one from ue .

post #12587 of 14601

Happy New Year Joker!

 

I wonder what would be your favorite set with mic? Something sounding similar to RE-400? Could you compare it (whatever that set is) to A161P? Similarly priced as well...

 

Cheers

post #12588 of 14601

I've not heard the GR07, been holding out for replaceable cables but...maybe I should let that one go for now...or be zen and see what their new models are like.

 

Based on what I've read I think I'd prefer the BE, though; I like a slight u/v shape. PFE232 would probably be my IEM of choice if it wasn't so expensive. 

 

I'm guessing the Reference might not have the bass I'm looking for, though; how would you compare it in terms of quantity and impact to something like the SM3?

 

Thanks again! :etysmile:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post
 

 

Hmm.. interesting question. Your description does sound like the Reference except that the UERM (demo) quite honestly sounded noticeably better to me and had a slightly different sound presentation - fuller, smoother, thicker, and more coherent. 

 

Have you heard the GR07? In terms of overall balance that's what I'd liken the Reference to over the W3 or TF10. Or the PFE232, though it's bassier. 


Edited by Gilly87 - 1/8/14 at 8:59am
post #12589 of 14601

It is intriguing, but given its graph, I'd probably just as soon buy an ER4 and save on impressions; from what I've read it's said to be more analytical/less musical than UERM, with a smaller soundstage, and without that special musicality that makes the UERM what it is, it's basically just an analytical custom with a big soundstage; without that addictive musicality, I would probably be left craving more bass. Thanks for the rec though :)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post
 

@Gilly87 .. have you considered the UE4?  It's said to be very similar to the UERM in tuning.


Edited by Gilly87 - 1/8/14 at 8:57am
post #12590 of 14601
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikjadoon View Post
 

Joker, any thoughts about replacing an Etymotic HF5? They were unfortunately run into the vacuum cleaner, the earbuds torn right off the cabling. :(

 

I listen to many different kinds of music: rock, pop, folk, piano, vocal, some hip-hop, and a touch of spoken word, so all-arounders seem like the best option. I often wear IEMs for hours on end, so comfort is important, and while running, so the fewer microphonics, the better. I'd like to hear the music as close to a live performance. I don't mind if the headphones color the spectrum whichever way to make that sound.

 

What I liked about the Ety HF5s: super-detailed and clear sound and amazing isolation. What I did not like: bass felt weak for hip-hop and pop (even with a great fit), microphonics were troublesome in quiet settings (I wore them cable-down), after long sessions, I had some ear discomfort (as the Ety HF5s seem to go pretty deep), and the "sound stage" was disappointing (exactly as your review; good left/right, but I didn't discern any other depth).

 

I'd like to keep my next IEMs for years, so I wanted to get the best I could under $500. For me, the CustomArt Music One was unequivocally the winner that checked all the boxes. It seems like the *best* IEMs at that price-point, competing with cans nearly 4-5x the price.

 

Did I miss other IEMs that might fit me? Do the Music Ones have any big flaws? I mean, if you care about isolation, microphonics, and sound quality, they sound like the absolute best for $200-$800 or something, haha. I don't know why they aren't just flying off the shelves....

I have also had Etymotic HF5 in the past. While the isolation was pretty good, I didn't like its sound because of the weak bass and rolled off treble. You might also consider Tdk Ba-200s as they don't have that bass weakness that HF5 suffers and the soundstage is also wider and much deeper. The presentation is quite big and with Westone star tips, the fit is very good. It is more analog sounding iem than HF5 and Super Fi 5. 

post #12591 of 14601
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozkan View Post
 

I have also had Etymotic HF5 in the past. While the isolation was pretty good, I didn't like its sound because of the weak bass and rolled off treble. You might also consider Tdk Ba-200s as they don't have that bass weakness that HF5 suffers and the soundstage is also wider and much deeper. The presentation is quite big and with Westone star tips, the fit is very good. It is more analog sounding iem than HF5 and Super Fi 5. 

Good point!

:popcorn:

post #12592 of 14601
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentJ View Post
 

Hi again Joker :P

 

You had previously advised me to get the Astrotec AM800s which I have to say do sound great - the highs and mids are great compared to what I remember of my old JVC XXs. 

 

I've been looking for BT and wired adapters to control my phone's music playback, and act as a mic, but I soon realised that some new IEMs might be in order (does this mean I'm hooked now?)

 

The best ones I've found are the MEElec A161P. They're a good price (£50 compared to the £30 of the Astrotec + £20 for the BT adapter) and wanted to know how they compare to the Astrotecs and also the Shure SE215s edit: or the MEElec M-Duo?

 

I know you have rated the A161Ps higher but I also see that they have a lower frequency range, and you describe them as dry, compared to the AM800s being airy.

 

And I've just realised that although the Shures and the A161P would be great for over the ear, that would stop me using the mic :S and so I might need to get one of those BT adapters anyway, although I wear my IEMs cable down more often than not (but I do now know why so many prefer over the ear)

 

Thanks again!

 

The A161P is more accurate and also more analytical than the Astotec. The AM-800 is more v-shaped in comparison with some added bass and a bit more treble sparkle.

 

The SE215 is warmer and bassier than both the A161P and AM-800. Not sure about the M-Duo - never tried it. Also, the SE215 is always worn over-the-ear so doing that will not stop you from using the mic. However, the mic doesn't come standard on those so you have to either buy the mic accessory cable separately or make sure to get them already with the optional mic cable. 

 

You might want to consider the JVC FRD80. It seems to be pretty cheap on ebay and is the mic version of the FXD80 I reviewed: http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/jvc-ha-fxd80/.


But now I have too many options tongue.gif

Out of those three, which would you say is the best (I'm guessing they're worth an upgrade ? Going on the ratings you had given I would've thought the A161P would be but the shures are beginning to sound pretty nice and now I'm confused. You said the JVC aren't that great for smaller ears, so I'm not sure if they'd be that great for me
But now I have too many options tongue.gif

And I wouldn't need an amp for any of these, would I?
post #12593 of 14601
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikjadoon View Post
 

Joker, any thoughts about replacing an Etymotic HF5? They were unfortunately run into the vacuum cleaner, the earbuds torn right off the cabling. :(

 

I listen to many different kinds of music: rock, pop, folk, piano, vocal, some hip-hop, and a touch of spoken word, so all-arounders seem like the best option. I often wear IEMs for hours on end, so comfort is important, and while running, so the fewer microphonics, the better. I'd like to hear the music as close to a live performance. I don't mind if the headphones color the spectrum whichever way to make that sound.

 

What I liked about the Ety HF5s: super-detailed and clear sound and amazing isolation. What I did not like: bass felt weak for hip-hop and pop (even with a great fit), microphonics were troublesome in quiet settings (I wore them cable-down), after long sessions, I had some ear discomfort (as the Ety HF5s seem to go pretty deep), and the "sound stage" was disappointing (exactly as your review; good left/right, but I didn't discern any other depth).

 

I'd like to keep my next IEMs for years, so I wanted to get the best I could under $500. For me, the CustomArt Music One was unequivocally the winner that checked all the boxes. It seems like the *best* IEMs at that price-point, competing with cans nearly 4-5x the price.

 

Did I miss other IEMs that might fit me? Do the Music Ones have any big flaws? I mean, if you care about isolation, microphonics, and sound quality, they sound like the absolute best for $200-$800 or something, haha. I don't know why they aren't just flying off the shelves....

 

The Music One's flaws are hardly big, but if I were to sum them up they would be

1. Bass could stand to be a little tighter

2. I would prefer more treble energy, a-la HF5

 

Barring those two things I highly recommend them. The cable is excellent, the isolation is excellent, the comfort is excellent, etc., etc. They don't have tons of bass, but more than your old Etys, and meet your requirements otherwise. Not really sure how a silicone CIEM would work during running, either - if you get sweaty your ear canal might get humid with no ability to vent if a silicone CIEM is inserted, which could lead to issues with the earphones. 

 

There are certainly other (universal-fit) options - the TDKs mentioned above, the VSonic GR07, the StageDiver SD-2, the Phonak 232, etc., but I won't try to make a case for any of them over the Music One. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chude Mleko View Post
 

Happy New Year Joker!

 

I wonder what would be your favorite set with mic? Something sounding similar to RE-400? Could you compare it (whatever that set is) to A161P? Similarly priced as well...

 

Cheers

 

Compared to the A161P, the RE400 is more spacious and has slightly more full-sounding bass, as well as smoother treble. The A161P's bass is also punchy but it's more armature-like in character, with quicker decay. Its treble is also a little more grainy. To me the RE-400 sounds more natural overall. 

 

In that price range, purely for sound quality and with a mic, I like the Philips Fidelio S1 better than the A161P.

 

Compared to the RE-400, the S1 has better bass depth and more bass overall. Its upper midrange and treble are more energetic whereas the RE-400 is smoother and more laid-back up top with a warmer overall tone. The S1 also has a wider soundstage than the RE-400.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilly87 View Post

 

I've not heard the GR07, been holding out for replaceable cables but...maybe I should let that one go for now...or be zen and see what their new models are like.

 

Based on what I've read I think I'd prefer the BE, though; I like a slight u/v shape. PFE232 would probably be my IEM of choice if it wasn't so expensive. 

 

I'm guessing the Reference might not have the bass I'm looking for, though; how would you compare it in terms of quantity and impact to something like the SM3?

 

Thanks again! :etysmile:

 

 

Expensive and discontinued as far as I know.

 

The bass of the Reference is less enhanced compared to the SM2/SM3/SM64.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentJ View Post


But now I have too many options tongue.gif

Out of those three, which would you say is the best (I'm guessing they're worth an upgrade ? Going on the ratings you had given I would've thought the A161P would be but the shures are beginning to sound pretty nice and now I'm confused. You said the JVC aren't that great for smaller ears, so I'm not sure if they'd be that great for me
But now I have too many options tongue.gif

And I wouldn't need an amp for any of these, would I?

 

Well, the one I prefer (the A161P) wouldn't necessarily be the one you like best. It has less bass than your AM-800, for example. The FXD80/FRD80 sounds more like the AM-800 than the A161 does. 

 

I think they're all great earphones - if the warmer/bassier signature of the Shures appeals to you and the pricing (with the mic cable factored in) makes sense, by all means go for the Shures. Shure is also bringing out a new $50 model soon - the SE112. Not sure there are any reviews of it out there yet, though. 

post #12594 of 14601
Even less bass? I liked the v shape on the AM800 but I do feel like there could be more bass. Looks like it's gonna be the Shures then.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
post #12595 of 14601
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

Compared to the A161P, the RE400 is more spacious and has slightly more full-sounding bass, as well as smoother treble. The A161P's bass is also punchy but it's more armature-like in character, with quicker decay. Its treble is also a little more grainy. To me the RE-400 sounds more natural overall. 

 

In that price range, purely for sound quality and with a mic, I like the Philips Fidelio S1 better than the A161P.

 

Compared to the RE-400, the S1 has better bass depth and more bass overall. Its upper midrange and treble are more energetic whereas the RE-400 is smoother and more laid-back up top with a warmer overall tone. The S1 also has a wider soundstage than the RE-400.

 

 

Thanks joker!

 

I noticed fidelio doesn't appear on your Multi-IEM Review Table yet. Any idea when you might review it and add it there?

BTW if I can make a suggestion the table would greatly benefit from another column which describes sound signature. No point in looking at similar scores for sound if they sound very different. I hope you know what I mean.

 

Anyway, I look at that table filtering by price up to $120 and sorting by sound score. R-50M comes first even in front of RE-400 (it's 20% more expensive in fairness though). You described HF2 the way that put's me off for some reason. MA750i looks interesting and it scored better than A161P as well. Do you think S1 will beat them in terms of sound quality? All 4 of them R50M, MA750i, A161P and S1 have similar sound signatures, don't they?

 

I'm wasting your time splitting hairs?

 

:)

Cheers!

post #12596 of 14601
Quote:
Originally Posted by suman134 View Post
 

    i may not be exactly correct but , customs are difficult to fly by , they have fitting issues at times , even after molding it to your initial ear impression . and they will just cut you out off your surroundings , im thinking of getting one , may be a cheaper one from ue .

 

Hi! I'm not sure if you were replying to me, but I've actually heard customs fitting extremely well. Was that not your experience? About the isolation: haha, perfect. Just what I'm looking for! :D

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozkan View Post
 

I have also had Etymotic HF5 in the past. While the isolation was pretty good, I didn't like its sound because of the weak bass and rolled off treble. You might also consider Tdk Ba-200s as they don't have that bass weakness that HF5 suffers and the soundstage is also wider and much deeper. The presentation is quite big and with Westone star tips, the fit is very good. It is more analog sounding iem than HF5 and Super Fi 5. 

 

OK, solid, I'll give them a look. Thank you for the tip! :D

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post
 

 

The Music One's flaws are hardly big, but if I were to sum them up they would be

1. Bass could stand to be a little tighter

2. I would prefer more treble energy, a-la HF5

 

Barring those two things I highly recommend them. The cable is excellent, the isolation is excellent, the comfort is excellent, etc., etc. They don't have tons of bass, but more than your old Etys, and meet your requirements otherwise. Not really sure how a silicone CIEM would work during running, either - if you get sweaty your ear canal might get humid with no ability to vent if a silicone CIEM is inserted, which could lead to issues with the earphones. 

 

There are certainly other (universal-fit) options - the TDKs mentioned above, the VSonic GR07, the StageDiver SD-2, the Phonak 232, etc., but I won't try to make a case for any of them over the Music One. 

 

OK, whew, good to hear. I appreciate the response. So, I was perusing the CustomArt's forum post and apparently they're releasing a "Music Two" this month which is actually a dual BA design! Ostensibly, it seems to be all upgrades from the Music Ones.

 

Concerning sweat: OK, right. My ears don't really sweat, but I'll send an email to CustomArt and see if they have any thoughts about it.

 

Haha, OK, right. Universal fit used to be my game, but I might as well get customs if I can fit them in my price range (and on such a good set of IEMs, anyways!). Thank you for your help! :D

post #12597 of 14601
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

Well, the one I prefer (the A161P) wouldn't necessarily be the one you like best. It has less bass than your AM-800, for example. The FXD80/FRD80 sounds more like the AM-800 than the A161 does. 

 

I think they're all great earphones - if the warmer/bassier signature of the Shures appeals to you and the pricing (with the mic cable factored in) makes sense, by all means go for the Shures. Shure is also bringing out a new $50 model soon - the SE112. Not sure there are any reviews of it out there yet, though. 

 

 

Actually, I didn't realise that the mic cable for the Shures would be so expensive. Also, I realised that my phone isn't actually that good as an ouput for headphones (iPhones always seem louder when connected to the same speakers) and when connected to my PC (standard onboard Asus soundcard) the AM800s sound pretty good, and the bass is a tad behind my Bose OE1, not as boomy, you I can still hear and appreciate it. 

 

I quite like the sound of those FRD80 but I have small ears so I don't think they'd be that great :( which is a shame cos I quite like the V shape of my AM800 now I have them in my PC.

I really wanted the A161P but I don't think I've had a "neutral" IEM before and no idea if I'll like it, and I assume there's no place you can go and test out IEMs. And I've also realised that all of the IEMs I'm comparing have different sound signatures too :p

 

If I buy the £20 bluetooth headset, are there any other alternative IEMs around the same sort of price as the other IEMs you've recommended?

 

One more question: I've just realised that I've been using an EQ on my PC, and when I turn it off, the AM800 sound completely different. I know if it's a different thing when I'm comparing them using my phone and PC, but assuming a new phone is as good as my PC, would that mean I could just boost the bass for the A161Ps? (Sorry if that's a bit of a stupid question, but I guess a naturally better sounding bass from the Shures would be better)

 

Thanks again

 

 

 

post #12598 of 14601

^ ^ ^The a161p's bass will start to distort if you boost it a lot but "neutral" does not meant the a161p has an ety level of bass and it's lacking - its bass actually has pretty good impact and is fairly aggressive, so you might not find it lacking as much as you expect.

post #12599 of 14601
Quote:
Originally Posted by kova4a View Post
 

^ ^ ^The a161p's bass will start to distort if you boost it a lot but "neutral" does not meant the a161p has an ety level of bass and it's lacking - its bass actually has pretty good impact and is fairly aggressive, so you might not find it lacking as much as you expect.

Ah right. I was thinking it might start distortion.

 

Joker said it had less bass than my AM800s, which I thought didn't have that much, which is why I wasn't so sure. When connected to my PC, they feel more bassy (although I realised I had the EQ which made more of a difference than I had thought)

 

Now that I've been sat here listening to them for a while, I think they're actually pretty good in a quiet room - and I hardly ever listen to them in a quiet room (mainly on my bike or in the school study room [which tends to get loud]) I'm not sure if it's placebo, but they do sound slightly better when connected to my PC, so I hope the new phone I'll be getting will be better than my current one. 

 

(I've turned the volume up, and they are actually pretty great :P)

post #12600 of 14601
Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentJ View Post
 

Ah right. I was thinking it might start distortion.

 

Joker said it had less bass than my AM800s, which I thought didn't have that much, which is why I wasn't so sure. When connected to my PC, they feel more bassy (although I realised I had the EQ which made more of a difference than I had thought)

 

Now that I've been sat here listening to them for a while, I think they're actually pretty good in a quiet room - and I hardly ever listen to them in a quiet room (mainly on my bike or in the school study room [which tends to get loud]) I'm not sure if it's placebo, but they do sound slightly better when connected to my PC, so I hope the new phone I'll be getting will be better than my current one. 

 

(I've turned the volume up, and they are actually pretty great :P)

Well, there are a lot of factors that can affect the bass aside from the source's signature. Most phones have high output impedance, which will cause a bass roll off in something like the 16ohm am800. Also phones are made with low-power sound chips, so the output power is usually pretty low, especially android phones as most of them have a lot less power in that department than an iphone for instance and this can also affect the bass, in particular its control and impact. And yeah, while the a161p has pretty good bass for a single BA iem, the am800 has more. It's also good to mention that the a161p is more of a mid-forward iem unlike the V-shaped am800, which has emphasis on the bass and the treble, so with a161p you might also not like the soundstage size and the treble, which rolls off a bit early and is low on sparkle.


Edited by kova4a - 1/9/14 at 10:25am
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