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Multi-IEM Review - 321 IEMs compared (NarMoo S1 added 09/04/14 p. 966) - Page 633

post #9481 of 14587
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesuperguy View Post

Thanks, and I would also like to ask if my Fiio E6 amp connected to my ipod would make a worthy improvement in sound for either the R50 or the HF5 for the inconvenience of having that extra bit of stuff to carry around and the slightly annoying square bulge coming out of my pocket :P


The R-50 probably more so than the HF5 but for the same money I would invest in some aftermarket tips instead.

post #9482 of 14587

Thanks for this in depth (huge understatement!) review of so many IEM's IjokerI.

I've been using public transit and walking a lot since I started a new job recently and for the first time I've decided to buy a quality pair of IEM's. I'm not going overboard on the spending as it's more of a casual daily listen I'll be doing, but I decided on the Audeo Perfect Bass PFE 012. They seem to get many positive reviews as well as being recommended as a solid earphone for the price. Comfort has always been a huge issue for me with earphones, but these look to be pretty comfy!

post #9483 of 14587
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesuperguy View Post

I've been monitoring your reviews and advice on this thread for quite a while and I must ask, how have you become so adept at distinguishing the quality of sound, any minor fluctuations and being able to give a rating on sound essentially out of 100? I seem to have quite some trouble at noticing these small changes in sound quality and because of that, I am apprehensive in investing in a higher end pair of earphones even though I really want to do so. I currently own the VSonic GR99s and possibly plan on upgrading to either the Rock-it Sounds R50 or perhaps the Etymotic HF5. I'm just scared that this upgrade won't sound like much to my seemingly untrained ears.

How do you do it and do you have any advice for others?

FWIW, I went thru a couple of different low budget IEM over the last couple of years (see my signature/profile) and even tho I could tell the difference between them, if I was comparing them directly one after the other, it wasn't really something that stuck out a day later or something I could easily remember and identify them by (CX300 being the possible exception).

However, I was definitely impressed once I stepped up to the hf3 (same as hf5), it was very noticeable even without having having my other IEM on hand to compare. I'm sure the vastly different sound signature of the Etys (compared to my MEEs, JVC, etc.) plays a role in that, but it wasn't the sole differentiation or improvement.

I went thru a few cheaper IEM not because I was looking for a different sound per se btw, mostly just because I had different uses for them (exercise pair, travel/beater pair, etc.). Still do, only got the hf3 because I found them for a great price, but I'm quite glad I did. Would probably pay the regular price if I had to replace them for some reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post


The R-50 probably more so than the HF5 but for the same money I would invest in some aftermarket tips instead.

Any recommendations for the hf5? I'd reference the first post but it tends to wreck my phone's browser so I'll have to check later

I've gotten used to the triple flanges, tho they still feel odd after an hour or so and it still takes me some fidgeting to get them in proper... Been thinking about the custom tips they offer, guess I should at least try some of the MEElec tips I have first tho, I have no issues with those on my M6 or the M9 I had.
post #9484 of 14587

I'm sorry for posing so many questions one after another but I managed to find the Hifiman RE262s on amazon for a very respectable price and I noticed that they require quite a bit of extra oomph to get going well. I would like to know if my E6 will provide sufficient power to these earphones and if the sound quality would remain near the 9.1 rating given with this relatively cheap amp.

post #9485 of 14587
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mani ATH 87 View Post

Thanks for this in depth (huge understatement!) review of so many IEM's IjokerI.

I've been using public transit and walking a lot since I started a new job recently and for the first time I've decided to buy a quality pair of IEM's. I'm not going overboard on the spending as it's more of a casual daily listen I'll be doing, but I decided on the Audeo Perfect Bass PFE 012. They seem to get many positive reviews as well as being recommended as a solid earphone for the price. Comfort has always been a huge issue for me with earphones, but these look to be pretty comfy!

 

beerchug.gif Good choice!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Impulse View Post


Any recommendations for the hf5? I'd reference the first post but it tends to wreck my phone's browser so I'll have to check later

I've gotten used to the triple flanges, tho they still feel odd after an hour or so and it still takes me some fidgeting to get them in proper... Been thinking about the custom tips they offer, guess I should at least try some of the MEElec tips I have first tho, I have no issues with those on my M6 or the M9 I had.

 

 

l was thinking more in terms of the Rock-It R-50 - the HF5 already comes with some nice tips. I do have the ACS custom tips for the HF5 and think they are worth it for those who can't get comfortable with the Ety triples. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thesuperguy View Post

I'm sorry for posing so many questions one after another but I managed to find the Hifiman RE262s on amazon for a very respectable price and I noticed that they require quite a bit of extra oomph to get going well. I would like to know if my E6 will provide sufficient power to these earphones and if the sound quality would remain near the 9.1 rating given with this relatively cheap amp.


I don't have any of the small Fiio amps but my E7 works well with the HiFiMan sets. 

post #9486 of 14587

:/ the E7 is undeniably more expensive but more importantly, not very portable looking...

post #9487 of 14587

Just want to thank IjokerI for the review, this is frankly the best and most extensive review of any sort I have ever read. I have already made a few purchases solo based on it.

post #9488 of 14587
Thread Starter 

Added the JVC HA-FX101 and Spider TinyEar

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post


(3B37) JVC HA-FX101

Added Feb 2013


Details: Bass-heavy budget earphone from JVC’s Xtreme Xplosives line
Current Price: $18 from amazon.com (MSRP: $19.95); $29.95 for HA-FR201 model w/mic
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 101 dB | Freq: 5-20k Hz | Cable: 3.9' I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (1/5) - Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes)
Build Quality (3.5/5) – The design of the FX101 resembles the older FX1X and features plastic housings with rubber bumpers, paper nozzle filters, and a thin, plasticky cable. The cord lacks a sliding cinch but carries minimal noise and terminates with a well-relieved I-plug
Isolation (3.5/5) – Good for an angled-nozzle design
Microphonics (4.5/5) – Low in the soft and flexible cable
Comfort (4/5) – The fit is generally similar to JVC’s higher-end FX500 model but the rubber-sheathed housings may be a little large for over-the-ear wear for those with smaller ears. Cord-down wear is very comfortable with the angled-nozzle form factor and the shells are smaller compared to the older FX1X

Sound (6.2/10) – JVC’s follow-up to the popular FX1X model, the FX101 has no trouble delivering on promises of copious bass despite its smaller 8.5mm drivers. Its low end is not as loose as that of the older FX1X model and yet the FX101 sacrifices nothing in the way of impact or bass depth. Its bass puts it among the hardest-hitting in-ears on the market, though as usual the low end grunt comes at a price. The bass is on the boomy side compared to sets such as the Philips SHE3580 and can be very intrusive. Happily, the FX101 probably won’t be purchased by those looking for anything less than a bass monster.

The real strength of the FX101 is in retaining good overall sound characteristics despite its massive low end and miniscule price tag. The clarity is quite good for something so bassy – it lags behind the JVC FX40, Brainwavz Beta, and Soundmagic E10 but easily beats the MEElectronics M9 and most other entry-level sets. The sound tends to be a little warm and dark. The signature is v-shaped, with strong bass emphasis and a milder treble boost. Bass bleed helps the FX101 sound a bit less recessed in the midrange compared to the Brainwavz Beta and JVC HA-FX40. As with the FX40, the colored signature of the FX101 works especially well with electronic music and can be hit or miss with recorded instruments.

Treble is somewhat harsh and not very refined compared to higher-end sets. It can accentuate sibilance and doesn’t extend all the way up, resulting in a darker sound compared to sets such as the Soundmagic E10 and Brainwavz Beta. The presentation is above average in its price class – not as wide as that of the Brainwavz Beta but better compared to the MEElectronics M9. The darker tone of the FX101 also prevents it from sounding as open and airy as the Soundmagic E10, which also boasts a better sense of space. Still, the FX101 has nothing to be ashamed of for the price and has another piece of mass appeal up its sleeve – efficiency. The FX101 plays louder than just about anything I put it up against and will crank out the bass even at low listening volumes.

Value (9.5/10) – Comfortable, well-built, and not at all microphonic, the FX101 is a bargain that should cause the bass-obsessed to salivate profusely. The bass-heavy sound means that these are far from the most neutral or natural-sounding earphones, but they deliver on the fun factor without sounding offensive - a definite win for their intended audience.

Pros: Well-built; comfortable; minimal cable noise; tons of bass
Cons: Treble can be harsh; tons of bass

 

Tanks to mcnoiserdc for the HA-FX101 loan!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

(3A76) Spider TinyEar

Added Feb 2013

Details: Spider’s light-and-comfortable entry-level earphone
Current Price: $35 from amazon.com (MSRP: $39.99)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 18Ω | Sens: 104 dB | Freq: 18-22k Hz | Cable: 3.9' I-plug
Nozzle Size: 4mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges; MEElec M6 single flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (2.5/5) - Single-flange (2 sizes) and bi-flange silicone tips; plastic carrying case with integrated cable winder
Build Quality (3/5) – The TinyEar uses two-piece plastic housings with hard stems, no strain reliefs, and a rubberized cable of average thickness. The L/R markings stamped into the housings can be hard to see
Isolation (3.5/5) – The slim housings allow for good isolation
Microphonics (3/5) – Bothersome when worn cable-down; low otherwise
Comfort (4.5/5) – The TinyEar is claimed to be the smallest in-ear headphone on market, and while that’s not exactly true, the housings are quite small and very lightweight. Stems are short and it’s easy to get a seal even though only 2 smaller sizes of single-flange tips are included

Sound (6.6/10) – The sound of the TinyEar is well-balanced with an emphasis on treble. The bass is medium in quantity – punchy but not really enhanced and much flatter overall than the boosted bass of a JVC FX101 or Dunu Trident. Sub-bass drops off rather quickly - both low-end extension and impact are lacking compared to Spider’s pricier Realvoice model.

The midrange is mildly recessed but the balance is good overall – better, for example, than with comparably-priced JVC and Klipsch models. Clarity is decent, helped along by the treble emphasis. Note thickness is on the low side – the TinyEar is not nearly as thick as the warmer, weightier Realvoice. The tone overall is cooler and brighter compared to most sets in the price range. The treble is energetic but seems to be enhanced rather evenly, without any major spikes. The TinyEar is definitely brighter and more treble-heavy overall than the JVC FX101 but still remains smoother and easier to listen to than the harsher JVCs.

The soundstage of the TinyEar is average in size. Good treble extension provides decent air but soundstage width and depth are only moderate. The similarly-priced Soundmagic E10 provides a more open, out-of-the-head presentation and even the Dunu Trident has better depth and layering. Worth noting also is how inefficient the TinyEar is – despite the advertised 104dB sensitivity, it required more power to reach listening volume than any of the earphones I put it up against.

Value (7.5/10) – While not as impressive as Spider’s higher-end Realvoice model, the TinyEar provides clean and balanced sound in an extremely compact form factor. Clearly designed for those with smaller ears, the TinyEar will fit pretty much anyone comfortably, which is good because many will enjoy its clarity and energetic – but surprisingly non-fatiguing – treble.

Pros: Small and lightweight; clean & clear sound
Cons: Microphonic when worn cable-down

 

Tanks to mcnoiserdc for the TinyEar loan!
 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike017 View Post

Just want to thank IjokerI for the review, this is frankly the best and most extensive review of any sort I have ever read. I have already made a few purchases solo based on it.


beerchug.gif I hope they were good ones! 

post #9489 of 14587

Thanks for the reviews! Bought the re262 and lovin every single thing about them, especially  the incredible mids. Too bad they're discontinued. Hope to see a review of the new re400 if you can fit that into your list.

post #9490 of 14587

I liked the tinyear except for the top. The doubles were best suited of those given.

post #9491 of 14587

Hello Joker,

 

First of all great job on the ever expanding review of IEMs. Keep up the great info!

 

Second, i purchased the Sony XBA-4ip a few weeks ago after a sticker price error had it at the XBA-2 range. The sound is very nice, clear and smooth. These are my first BA driver IEM, let alone quad drivers! What amazed me was the energy on the high end. Very nice without having sibilance or piercing. My previous IEM (aside from the horrible apple earbuds and the one that came with the Sony NWZ-A818, which I liked) are the Skullcandy FMJ, V-Moda Vibe Duo, and the Sol Republic Amps HD. After listening to the XBA-4ip, I cannot go back to the Vibe Duo or the Amps HD; just too much low end and not enough highs-almost muddy. But I only want to use the XBA-4ip occasionally.

 

My questions is, I am looking for a daily use IEM with similar sound characteristic (nice highs with some bass) as the XBA-4 but in the 50-and-under range. I was thinking of the astrotec AM-90, Rockit R-20 or maybe the Brainwavz R1 dual dynamic. Or something else that you can suggest. Thank you!


Edited by esteebin - 2/7/13 at 2:31pm
post #9492 of 14587

After further research into the E7, I realized that the amp portion of it seems to be actually inferior in terms of sound quality to the E6 itself! The E7 also happens to have the same output power as the E6 and taking your word for the E7 being sufficient, I can only assume that the E6 will be better. As you can expect, the RE262s are on my way.

 

Thanks a bunch Joker!


Edited by thesuperguy - 2/7/13 at 5:08pm
post #9493 of 14587

Cool stuff, Joker. Now I'm torn:

 

- NuForce NE-700X. Had a pair months ago and my cat ate it (don't ask). Before that, they were the love of my life. NuForce updated and re-released the NuForce NE-700M and 700X not even three days ago, and I'm really curious.

 

- Rockit-Sounds R-50. Not too sure if I should take a chance on these, but they seem to be supremely bang-for-buck.

 

No DACs or Amps at the moment, and my only two sources are a Rockboxed Clip Zip and a Nexus 4 (if the output impedance is anything like its identical brother, the LG Optimus G, then it should be up to the task of driving solo without much fuss).

 

Do I put forth the extra dollars for Rockit-Sounds?

 

Edit: It's mostly on-the-go listening to just about every genre to exist

post #9494 of 14587
What did NuForce change or tweak about the 700 series?
 
thanks
post #9495 of 14587
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raykoh5 View Post

Thanks for the reviews! Bought the re262 and lovin every single thing about them, especially  the incredible mids. Too bad they're discontinued. Hope to see a review of the new re400 if you can fit that into your list.

 

I have the RE400 on hand. Pre burn-in it sounds very good. I'll get back to it in a week or two.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

I liked the tinyear except for the top. The doubles were best suited of those given.

 

I think they went a little too far with the whole small ears thing - all of the included tips are on the smaller side and the bi-flanges don't seal for me.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by esteebin View Post

Hello Joker,

 

First of all great job on the ever expanding review of IEMs. Keep up the great info!

 

Second, i purchased the Sony XBA-4ip a few weeks ago after a sticker price error had it at the XBA-2 range. The sound is very nice, clear and smooth. These are my first BA driver IEM, let alone quad drivers! What amazed me was the energy on the high end. Very nice without having sibilance or piercing. My previous IEM (aside from the horrible apple earbuds and the one that came with the Sony NWZ-A818, which I liked) are the Skullcandy FMJ, V-Moda Vibe Duo, and the Sol Republic Amps HD. After listening to the XBA-4ip, I cannot go back to the Vibe Duo or the Amps HD; just too much low end and not enough highs-almost muddy. But I only want to use the XBA-4ip occasionally.

 

My questions is, I am looking for a daily use IEM with similar sound characteristic (nice highs with some bass) as the XBA-4 but in the 50-and-under range. I was thinking of the astrotec AM-90, Rockit R-20 or maybe the Brainwavz R1 dual dynamic. Or something else that you can suggest. Thank you!

 

I would go for the VSonic VC02. Review should be posted pretty soon. The R-20 and AM-90 are very decent but the Knowles SR armature generally doesn't have the best treble energy and is stronger in the midrange.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thesuperguy View Post

After further research into the E7, I realized that the amp portion of it seems to be actually inferior in terms of sound quality to the E6 itself! The E7 also happens to have the same output power as the E6 and taking your word for the E7 being sufficient, I can only assume that the E6 will be better. As you can expect, the RE262s are on my way.

 

Thanks a bunch Joker!

 

Good call - seems they will all be gone soon. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterCats View Post

Cool stuff, Joker. Now I'm torn:

 

- NuForce NE-700X. Had a pair months ago and my cat ate it (don't ask). Before that, they were the love of my life. NuForce updated and re-released the NuForce NE-700M and 700X not even three days ago, and I'm really curious.

 

- Rockit-Sounds R-50. Not too sure if I should take a chance on these, but they seem to be supremely bang-for-buck.

 

No DACs or Amps at the moment, and my only two sources are a Rockboxed Clip Zip and a Nexus 4 (if the output impedance is anything like its identical brother, the LG Optimus G, then it should be up to the task of driving solo without much fuss).

 

Do I put forth the extra dollars for Rockit-Sounds?

 

Edit: It's mostly on-the-go listening to just about every genre to exist


The R-50 and NE-700X probably couldn't sound more different. You'd be taking a huge chance on the R-50 if you liked the sound of the Nuforces. I would consider something closer to the NE-700X signature but from a higher tier - the Yamaha EPH-100, for example. But, who knows - maybe you'll like the R-50 anyway. It is very good for a BA monitor.  

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