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Multi-IEM Review - 322 IEMs compared (Brainwavz S1 added 09/24/14 p. 977) - Page 241

post #3601 of 14689
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psyco1 View Post

Just want to say thanks for all the work you put into this thread, although it's hurt my wallet a bit.

First the RE0, then the Turbines, then the Mi-9 and now the Klipsch S2. I saw they were $21 at amazon and thought the design looked right to wear under a full face helmet with hopefully more bass than my er-6. Holy smokes, they sure sound a lot better than a 20 buck phone should.


Four IEMs? Seems reasonable to me tongue.gif. Glad the thread was useful.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by s0lar View Post

I would like some advice. I own several IEM's but they all lack something.

I owned a RE0 and now own a RE-ZERO, but I don't like the adapter with the ZERO, it makes noise when you touch it and is too bulky in my amp or dap.

The RE0 was almost as good only looking at sound and I could easily lay down on my ear listening to music. Same deal with the Xcapes I used to own. Perhaps one of the new reincarnations is a good option.

I also own TD-III, M1 and DDM's, all of them sound good but are not that comfortable to lay down with.

So what I am looking for is a IEM that is very comfortable, small enough to not be disturbing in your ears when laying down on one ear and sound good.

The ability to have an very good and easy fit and seal and no or little microphonics.

Good mids and very good extension both ways. Not too bass-heavy, musical with a hint of warmth, does not have to be very easy to drive and I do not mind some sibilance and brightness.


I wouldn't necessarily call it musical but the GR07 may work for you otherwise. The RE262 flipped upside down can work as well but I don't know if you want to use the channel reversal adapter after your experience with the RE-ZERO. Other sets I'd look at - Westone 2, q-JAYS, and Senn IE7, though I think these all yield to the RE262/GR07 in sound quality and usually cost more.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by lina View Post

hello

first post as a new  user

i have the SM pl50 and i want something better

after reading some reviews

i'm trying to decide between the RE0 RE-ZERO Sunrise Xcited and Xcape IE

for someone new in iem world, which one of the 4 above is better for japanese pop and rock ?

thanks


Not sure about jrock but for 'regular' rock I prefer the RE-ZERO, followed very closely by the RE0.

post #3602 of 14689


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

Not sure about jrock but for 'regular' rock I prefer the RE-ZERO, followed very closely by the RE0.


thanks. i need the vocals to sound clear.

so you think i could tell the difference between the 0 and the Zero?

also, will a good amp improve the 0 over the zero, or at least make them even?

 

post #3603 of 14689

Interesting....

 

http://www.ifans.com/blog/26665/

 

ksc75smile.gif

post #3604 of 14689
Thread Starter 

Added the UM Miracle. The chart has been rescaled and sound now has slightly (30%) more weight in the average than before.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

(1A2) Unique Melody Miracle

Unique Melody Miracle 400x300.jpg
Reviewed Jul 2011

Details: Three-way, sextuple-driver custom from Unique Melody
Current Price: est. $929 from custom-iem.com (MSRP: est. $929)
Specs: Driver: 6-BA | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 114 dB | Freq: 18-19k Hz | Cable: 4.2’ L-plug
Nozzle Size: N/A | Preferred tips: N/A
Wear Style: Over-the-ear

Accessories (3/5) – Cleaning tool and fancy oversize storage case
Build Quality (5/5) – The molding quality is simply phenomenal. The molds are perfectly clear – no bubbles, no cracks, no opaque areas – and the finish is superb. My cheaper customs from Kozee and 1964EARS, though well-molded, can’t quite keep up with the build of the Miracle. The stock Miracle cable is just as good as the Westone Elite Series cord found on so many other high-end customs. The cable connectors are recessed by default but UM will put in a different socket on request
Isolation (5/5) – UM did not cut my impressions as short as 1964EARS and Kozee did when creating the shells – my Miracle has longer nozzles and fits deeper than my other full-shell customs. The isolation is on par with the very best universals and competes with my ACS Silicone Etymotic sleeves for top honors
Microphonics (5/5) – Pretty much nonexistent
Comfort (5/5) – As with my other acrylic-shelled customs, the shells are hard but not uncomfortable – most times I forget they’re in my ears at all. Normally, a well-fitting custom can be worn for hours on end with no fatigue, and the Miracle is certainly no exception. Obviously fit will always depend on the quality of the initial impressions and maybe a bit of luck but I can’t imagine a properly-fitting custom being uncomfortable. Naturally, UM will do refits if the fit is less than perfect

A bit of backstory: This particular Miracle was a gift to me from the Head-Fi community. Frequenters of the portable forum may have seen the original thread started by 12345142. At his suggestion, a fund was created to purchase a high-end custom in-ear for yours truly. Though the JH13Pro won the public poll, those who actually contributed to the fund settled on the UM Miracle. Much credit is due to rawrster, who did most of the footwork, to Stephen Guo of custom-iem.com for the discount he was able to provide, and of course to everyone who contributed. An earphone of this caliber is far, far outside of my budget and I never would have experienced it had it not been for the community.

Sound (10/10) – It can be argued that I would have been better off going straight for a top-tier custom instead of spending time – and money – exploring the 200-something universal monitors I’ve had my hands on over the years. However, I feel that moving up the hierarchy as slowly as I’ve done has allowed me to appreciate the Miracle that much more - there is simply no substitute for experience when it comes to putting things in perspective. Admittedly, the Miracle is not my first custom IEM – that honor went to the 1964EARS 1964-T (review 1B2) – but again owning the 1964-T makes the performance (as well as the fit and finish) of the Miracle that much more striking. The 1964-T has been invaluable in showcasing what customs may be able to offer over similarly-priced universals but, as I’ve said before, really didn’t offer a substantial leap in sound quality over the best universals I’ve tried. The Miracle, however – does – and I can say that with confidence having owned – or auditioned – nearly every top-tier universal monitor on the market at the time of this writing.

Though the UM Miracle is a ‘mere’ 3-way system with dual drivers set up to handle each portion of the spectrum, its response is amazingly coherent and its presentation - entirely effortless. The low end extends without flinching to the limits of my hearing, performing beautifully right down to the extremes of its quoted response range. In terms of quantity, the bass presents as quite flat, with no discernable mid-bass hump, but offers more presence across the range compared to the usual ‘level bass’ suspects such as the Audio-Technica CK10 and Etymotic ER4. Bass detail and texture are the best I’ve heard from any headphone, portable or full-size. The bass is well-defined and articulate down to the lowest of lows, in stark contrast to the Shure SE535 I reviewed recently. The SE535, being a two-way system, has less-than-stellar performance at the limits and tends to sound a bit vague and dull below 40Hz. The Miracle, on the other hand, retains the ability to distinguish and texture notes all the way down.

The crisp, punchy bass of the Miracle makes the Earsonics SM3 sound bloated and muddy. Compared, on the other hand, to TWFK-based earphones such as the CK10, the Miracle offers up significantly more body and more realistic note sustainment. As with the Klipsch Custom 3, q-JAYS, Ortofon e-Q7, and a number of other high-end universals, the bass of the Miracle occupies a happy medium, appearing neither thick and bloated nor overly quick and thin. It is still armature-type bass, replete with immense resolution and clarity, but there is a sensation of vast power reserve behind every kick that I haven’t gotten from any other earphone with such a controlled and delicate presentation. One side effect of the highly detailed and yet fairly prominent and punchy bass is superb low-volume performance. Put simply, the Miracle is the best earphone I’ve used for listening at minimal levels, with around 10-15% of full volume with the Cowon J3 sufficient for relaxed listening and 20-25% plentiful on a busy street.

Like the bass, the midrange of the Miracle stands above all of the other IEMs I’ve heard when it comes to the balancing act of thickness vs. clarity. The mids are smooth and sound lush and fleshed-out, much like those of the Earsonics SM3, but without the clarity sacrifice that comes with the Earsonics. The Miracle can match the natural clarity of the ATH-CK10 and Sony EX1000 but is neither bright nor thin and has no tendency to accentuate its clarity the way the CK10 does. Balance-wise, the midrange is very nearly on-par with the low end but has a laid back character that causes the bass to sound very slightly more forward overall. Tonally, the mids are a touch warm but not as much as with the SM3. The SM3 is actually made to sound quite veiled by the clarity and crispness of the Miracle and its great detail retrieval suddenly becomes less impressive. The 1964-T, similarly, sounds both thicker and more grainy in the midrange, sacrificing a good amount of the smoothness and clarity of the Miracle, and yields in overall detail retrieval as well. The Miracle is extremely detailed but not in the forward, aggressive manner of the CK10 and Ety ER4. Instead, everything sounds natural, dynamic, and effortless, though the detail and texture are certainly still all there.

The treble of the Miracle is excellent in its own right, pairing well with the slightly laid-back midrange and bringing a bit of energy and excitement to the sound. Most obvious next the SM3, the treble emphasis of the Miracle balances the earphone out nicely. On the whole, the Miracle sounds neither bright nor dark and the sparkle is well-measured and controlled. Compared to the 1964-T, there is definitely more treble presence but the difference is not night-and-day. I have experienced no listening fatigue with the Miracle although the earphone is very revealing. Sibilance can be problematic if it is present in the recoding but, surprisingly, the Miracle does not accentuate such flaws the way the CK10 or Westone 3 might. Top end extension is excellent - better than that of the 1964-T, SM3, and CK10 – and the natural tone puts the slightly hot and tizzy treble of the CK10 to shame. Overall, the Miracle sounds crisp yet coherent, with effortlessness of detailing that is simply staggering.

A signature as balanced as that of the Miracle deserves an equally well-rounded presentation, which it has. From the first listen it is obvious that the Miracle was not tuned to be a stage monitor. It lacks the forwardness of the Earsonics SM3 and Westone UM3X and makes the 1964EARS 1964-T sound small and confined. The presentation is enveloping but not quite to the same extent as that of the SM3. Those who like the clear-cut left side – right side soundstage of Etymotic earphones or the Sony EX1000 would probably be better off staying away but those who found the imaging of the SM3 pleasing, if mildly overdone, will be happy with the Miracle. The Miracle sounds wider than the SM3 and provides a more realistic, slightly distanced feel but still shares the centering ability and three-dimensional feel of the Earsonics. The noticeably greater clarity and crispness, along with the larger soundstage and headstage, help provide incredible imaging and positioning. Certain sonic cues take on an out-of-the-head character I’ve only previously heard from semi-open dynamic-driver earphones but the high positioning precision is characteristic of other high-end armature-based sets. Instrumental separation is excellent, as expected and dynamics are better than with any other BA earphone I’ve heard so far. The Sony EX1000 was often able to keep up with the Miracle but lower end dynamics such as the ATH-CKM99, VSonic GR07, and Sennheiser IE7 were left completely in the dust. On the whole, the presentation of the Miracle really is an immense tuning achievement on the part of Unique Melody and I just don’t see myself getting tired of it in the foreseeable future.

Value (9/10) – The ridiculous FAD FI-BA-SS notwithstanding, the UM Miracle sits atop the pricing hierarchy of this review and therefore can only be judged based on the performance increase it offers over <$500 earphones. The jump in sound quality from top universals and the entry-level 1964-T custom to the Miracle is significant, but so is the price gap. The fit and finish of the earphone certainly are as sublime as the price tag indicates and the overall usability is enviable. The performance is fantastic as well – the Miracle offers a different sort of sound compared to the 1964-T and stage-destined universals like the UM3X and SM3 but still surpasses them handily in technical ability. Its sound is not as forward and intimate as with most pro-oriented monitors and yet it easily avoids the left blob – right blob soundstage you get with so many headphones and IEMs. I’ve drawn comparisons to the presentation of the SM3 but the Miracle offers all of the advantages – coherent imaging and great on-center feel for maximum immersion – with none of the drawbacks of the over-enveloping SM3. The signature, too, is extremely pleasing, with surprisingly strong but very controlled bass, clean and detailed midrange, and strong, extended treble. One of the Miracle’s greatest strengths is its ability to remain crisp and retrieve all of the detail without appearing aggressive, even at minimal volume levels. Instead of turning the volume up to get the detail and texture out, the Miracle encourages you to lower the volume, offering up assurances that not a single nuance will be lost.

I have to insert one of my usual disclaimers here - the fact that the Miracle is the most proficient earphone I’ve heard is not necessarily an indication that more drivers mean better sound, nor does it mean that throwing more money at your portable audio rig will result in significant performance gains. The Miracle is simply one data point among dozens of available models and my experience with it should not be extrapolated to other high end customs. All I can say is that even after six solid months of owenership, having occasion to use the Miracle still puts a smile on my face and I plan to enjoy it for years to come – thanks, of course, to the Head-Fi community.

Pros: Excellent long-term comfort; high isolation; superb finish; fantastic overall sound quality
Cons: Correct insertion takes some getting used to; no portable carrying case included


Huge thanks to 12345142, rawrster, Stephen Guo of custom-iem.com, and everyone who donated to make this present a reality. Thanks also to average_joe for lending me his SM3 for comparisons.



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by lina View Post

thanks. i need the vocals to sound clear.

so you think i could tell the difference between the 0 and the Zero?

also, will a good amp improve the 0 over the zero, or at least make them even?

 


In a direct comparison it's not difficult to differentiate the two. Owning only one, I doubt you'll be able to say which one it is if you didn't know. I don't think either has a clarity edge over the other. Amping the RE0 does help and with the right amp it may even have an edge over the ZERO but then adding a decent amp would push it to a different price bracket.


Edited by ljokerl - 7/24/11 at 7:17pm
post #3605 of 14689

It sounds like the Miracle may be close to what I have in my UM customs but can't know for sure unless I buy it but there's not a very high chance on that.

 

I'm glad you like your Miracles and I may one day end up with one of the UM customs that they make rather than a reshell but will see :p

post #3606 of 14689

It was interesting to see just about every SQ score go down lol.

 

Cheers.

post #3607 of 14689

Having my Miracle for a few weeks now, I cannot agree more with the review |joker| has done, A haven't had the same previous experience with IEM's as |joker| and pretty much dived straight in, but these are absolutely amazing.

 

Also worth noting, that with my Miracles that I received from UM Australia, I did get a portable carry case for them. So it appears they have heard the requests and responded. Not sure if that's only through UM Aus though.


Edited by Acesi7 - 7/24/11 at 7:57pm
post #3608 of 14689

"left blob – right blob soundstage" - also called lateralisation ;)

post #3609 of 14689
Quote:
Originally Posted by xtasi View Post

It was interesting to see just about every SQ score go down lol.

 

Cheers.


Not by much. The difference between Miracle and 1964-T is more striking than the difference between the T and top of the line universals wink.gif

post #3610 of 14689
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

It sounds like the Miracle may be close to what I have in my UM customs but can't know for sure unless I buy it but there's not a very high chance on that.

 

I'm glad you like your Miracles and I may one day end up with one of the UM customs that they make rather than a reshell but will see :p

 


Perhaps UM could tell you with certainty how the Miracle improves (or otherwise) on your setup.

 

And thanks again, I'm not sure I would've gotten the Miracle if you hadn't stepped in and spearheaded the entire thing beerchug.gif




Quote:
Originally Posted by Acesi7 View Post

Having my Miracle for a few weeks now, I cannot agree more with the review |joker| has done, A haven't had the same previous experience with IEM's as |joker| and pretty much dived straight in, but these are absolutely amazing.

 

Also worth noting, that with my Miracles that I received from UM Australia, I did get a portable carry case for them. So it appears they have heard the requests and responded. Not sure if that's only through UM Aus though.


I'll have to ask if all Miracles come with a case now. That was most certainly the only bit that left me disappointed. Personally, I have no use for the fancy display box and ended up using the Earjax hard clamshell case (best one I've found for customs) to lug them around. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

"left blob – right blob soundstage" - also called lateralisation ;)


I thought that was a neurological term

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by esanthosh View Post


Not by much. The difference between Miracle and 1964-T is more striking than the difference between the T and top of the line universals wink.gif


Great, that was the point I intended to convey wink.gif

 

post #3611 of 14689

Nice review.I hope to hear the Miracle some day...

post #3612 of 14689
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

Nice review.I hope to hear the Miracle some day...

 

Actually you will hear the demo.  I'm giving the Merlin and Miracle some run in as they just arrived.
 

 

post #3613 of 14689

It must be difficult to affix "value" to IEM's in this price-bracket.

 

If the EX1000 can keep up with the UM Miracle most of the time, it should have a high[er] value than the UM Miracle, and consequently the EX600 higher still.

 

I think the vast majority of people that are going to invest circa ~$1000 in an IEM will never have the chance, finanaces or audio fetischism to sanction them to hear the sound of any other custom IEM brands out there, joker's amorosity for the UM aside, I think they should really do their homework with which custom IEM is the best for them, as they all seem to be on a similiar pedestal and as far as I can tell the UM has not achieved some kind of plateau or pinnacle by itself, but rather subjectively in light of joker's collection, other custom IEM's out there on similiar level seem to be the SA-43, JH13, UE18, LS8, CX8, SE 5-way, 3MAX, ES5, XE4....

 

If ljokerl could hypothetically review all of these, then the UM Miracle would be perceived in a different light, it's a shame this will never be the case since anyone owning all of them would equal the cost of a very nice car, so for us already rather rash individuals interesting in spending $1k on an audio investment I think we should study the different alternatives available, decide which particular model will suit us the most, or looks the best, and then commit to that long-term sonic investment and trip the deep.

 

I'm just writing this to be fair, because I think to some head-fiers that enjoy reading a lot like myself it may appear as common-sense, but to other individuals that are busy or less interested in research they might consider the UM as some kind of new pinnacle, afterall who doesn't want to buy something and think they have the best of the best? I sure would like to but in truth I think all of the high-end custom IEM's are next to eachother, it's like comparing Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki.

 

 

post #3614 of 14689

Ag, now I need to know how the Miracle compares with the JH13.

post #3615 of 14689
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

Nice review.I hope to hear the Miracle some day...


Thanks. I, too, hope you get to hear the Miracle and see how it fares in your sizable collection.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

If the EX1000 can keep up with the UM Miracle most of the time, it should have a high[er] value than the UM Miracle, and consequently the EX600 higher still.

 

That statement about the EX1000 was specifically in relation to timbre. It cannot keep up with the Miracle in most ways.

 

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