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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 778

post #11656 of 16803
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartlett View Post
 

Hey my JVC FXT90's just went out on me so I am in the market for headphones that are similar but under $50. Any recommendations? Thanks!

 

Without any additional info I would say SteelSeries Flux, assuming you're in the US and can get them for $50. It's a little flatter than the FXT90 - less of a mid-bass hump and less treble sparkle - but it still has a slightly v-shaped signature with a warm-of-neutral tone and a bit of added deep bass. If you'd rather have more bass than the FXT90 and not less, something more v-shaped, like a GR02 Bass Edition or id America Spark, might be a better option. 

post #11657 of 16803

I currently have a pair of Phonak PFEs and I quite enjoy them especially for acoustics but I do not like to carry an amp with me on the go and these definitely need an amp to get the most out of them.

 

I'm currently thinking of buying two out of the three of JVC FXT 90, the MEElectronics A161P and the Flux in Ears. FXT I'm able to purchase for 100, the A161P I can get for 90 and the Flux the normal price of 50 dollars, which is pretty good considering I'm in Canada, we tend not to get the best deals on audio gear. 

 

I'm looking for one of the two to have better vocals and soundstage than the Phonaks and the other to be a better all around headphone since I listen to a variety of genres. Also are all of the three above easy to power from an Ipod compared to the Phonaks?  

post #11658 of 16803

Hello am looking for my next upgrade in audio. Is anyone able to help me compre the UM3x with the 1964 V3? I posted this previously in the V3 thread but that thread seemed kind of dead so i will try my luck here ^^

post #11659 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auditore View Post

Hello am looking for my next upgrade in audio.
Aren't we all? Is this not the bane of the Homo Audiophilus?
post #11660 of 16803

Thanks for the suggestions. Does the GR02 have decent microphonics and a decent cable? How would it compare to the MEElectronics M9? I feel like the M9 lacks the soundstage and separation and the good cable the FTX90 had. The last thing I want to do is a slight upgrade form the M9 for $40. 

 

Thanks 


Edited by bartlett - 10/2/13 at 1:45pm
post #11661 of 16803
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by notoriousjim View Post
 

I currently have a pair of Phonak PFEs and I quite enjoy them especially for acoustics but I do not like to carry an amp with me on the go and these definitely need an amp to get the most out of them.

 

I'm currently thinking of buying two out of the three of JVC FXT 90, the MEElectronics A161P and the Flux in Ears. FXT I'm able to purchase for 100, the A161P I can get for 90 and the Flux the normal price of 50 dollars, which is pretty good considering I'm in Canada, we tend not to get the best deals on audio gear. 

 

I'm looking for one of the two to have better vocals and soundstage than the Phonaks and the other to be a better all around headphone since I listen to a variety of genres. Also are all of the three above easy to power from an Ipod compared to the Phonaks?  

 

Not sure what you mean by "better" vocals but you really won't be upgrading from the PFE with any of those - the A161P is more forward and aggressive, with a little better deep bass presence and less treble energy (compared to phonaks with gray filters at least). It has a smaller soundstage. The FXT90 is has a lot more mid-bass for a warmer sound than the PFE and more treble sparkle, but less extension. Its soundstage is well-rounded but not too wide. The Flux is bassier than the PFE/A161P but not as bassy as FXT90. It has slightly more recessed mids compared to the other three and less overall treble presence (but still more grain than PFE, for example). It has a wider soundstage but the depth is not as good as with the FXT90. For me personally, PFE >= FXT90 > A161P >= Flux but the Flux is quite possible the best deal being half the price. 

 

The A161P is very efficient and super easy to drive (though you need a source with low output impedance). The FXT90 is about average. The Flux takes a little more power than average but it sounds very consistent betweens sources and doesn't really need an amp - just a few more notches on the volume control. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auditore View Post
 

Hello am looking for my next upgrade in audio. Is anyone able to help me compre the UM3x with the 1964 V3? I posted this previously in the V3 thread but that thread seemed kind of dead so i will try my luck here ^^

 

It's been a while since I had the UM3X but in very general terms the V3 will have more bass (esp mid-bass) and more treble presence and energy, with a less in-the-head, but still pretty forward, presentation. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bartlett View Post
 

Thanks for the suggestions. Does the GR02 have decent microphonics and a decent cable? How would it compare to the MEElectronics M9? I feel like the M9 lacks the soundstage and separation and the good cable the FTX90 had. The last thing I want to do is a slight upgrade form the M9 for $40. 

 

Thanks 

 

The GR02 is quite a bit better than the M9 - clearer, tighter, more natural-sounding overall. Microphonics are about on par, though.  JVC is pretty much the one company that's consistently mindful of microphonics. 

post #11662 of 16803

Thanks for the response. It would probably be best for me to just spend more on something else then. I enjoy the PFEs quite a bit but want something that has at least the same level of clarity with a bit more warmth, and a better overall soundstage. And I should have been more clear on what I meant by better vocals, for me it would be vocals that are more prominent, just slightly forward. Is there something in the 200-250 dollar range that fits the bill and is a decent upgrade over the PFEs? 

post #11663 of 16803
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by notoriousjim View Post
 

Thanks for the response. It would probably be best for me to just spend more on something else then. I enjoy the PFEs quite a bit but want something that has at least the same level of clarity with a bit more warmth, and a better overall soundstage. And I should have been more clear on what I meant by better vocals, for me it would be vocals that are more prominent, just slightly forward. Is there something in the 200-250 dollar range that fits the bill and is a decent upgrade over the PFEs? 

 

GR07 is probably the closest - it's great for PFE-like clarity with more bass and a wider stage, but it doesn't have more prominent vocals. 

post #11664 of 16803
Thread Starter 

Added the Sensaphonics 3MAX CIEM

 

Quote:
 

(1A10) Sensaphonics 3MAX

 

Reviewed October 2013

 

Details: Silicone-shelled custom from Sensaphonics

Current Price: $1050 from sensaphonics.com 

Specs: Driver: 3 BA / 2-way crossover | Imp: 14.2Ω | Sens: 114 dB @ 0.1V | Freq: 20-16k Hz | Cable: 4.2' L-plug

Wear Style: Over-the-ear

 

Accessories (5/5) – Shirt clip, cleaning tool, 1/4" adapter, lightweight zippered carrying pouch, and padded Pelican hard-shell storage case

Build Quality (5/5) – The 3MAX utilizes silicone shells. As is usually the case with silicone, shell clarity isn’t as good as with acrylic monitors but the overall construction is very good. The 3MAX is the only custom earphone in my collection to use coaxial connectors. This means most aftermarket custom earphone cables will not fit, but also allows cords for Shure and some Ultimate Ears universals to be used as reasonably-priced replacements. Finally, the Sensaphonics cable resists oxidation better than other clear cords – a good thing as my other clear cables usually start turning green after just a few months

Isolation (5/5) – The isolation of the silicone shells is excellent, falling just behind my other silicone-shelled custom, the Spiral Ear 3-way Reference

Microphonics (5/5) - Pretty much nonexistent

Comfort (5/5) – The silicone shells of the 3MAX take slightly longer to insert and remove compared to more rigid and slippery acrylic shells but are extremely comfortable once fitted and seem to maintain seal a bit better with changes to the ear canal shape, such as while chewing or talking. Being a custom monitor, the comfort is highly dependent on the quality of the initial impressions and final mold so if the earphones remain uncomfortable after an initial break-in period a re-fit is probably a good idea

 

Sound (9.5/10) – Tuned in collaboration with professional mastering engineers, the Sensaphonics 3MAX follows a different sound signature than other musicians’ monitors I’ve tried. Despite the dual woofer design, its sound is focused more on the midrange, especially the upper midrange. The bass has good punch but is not as emphasized as one may expect from an earphone with twin bass drivers. Depth is good – nearly on-par with enhanced-bass earphones such as the Westone ES5 and Heir Audio 8.A. Bass quality is about on par with the universal-fit AKG K3003 – the 3MAX is a little tighter and less mid-bassy, but also less impactful.

 

The sound of the 3MAX is a bit on the thick side, so while the earphone is fairly neutral in tone, it doesn’t sound analytical. Rather, it has a natural note presentation and tends to emphasize the midrange, placing vocals front and center. As a result, its sound appears more full-bodied next to sets with less prominent mids, such as the Alclair Reference. The emphasis on the upper midrange does cause the earphones to sound a bit “shouty” but the prominent vocals that result are in keeping with Sensaphonics’ goal of encouraging lower-volume listening.

 

The upper midrange emphasis of the 3MAX gives way to largely smooth treble. There is a bit more treble energy than with the darker-sounding Westone ES5 but less than with the JH13 Pro. The treble doesn’t “sparkle” and is very non-fatiguing – a definite plus for those who intend to wear their customs for hours at a time. In this respect the 3MAX is better than, for example, the AKG K3003 and Alclair Reference. The presentation of the 3MAX is a little on the intimate side, which is not unusual among stage monitors. It is more spacious and open-sounding than the AKG K3003, for example, but sounds a little flat and dull compared to the Heir 8.A.

 

Select Comparisons

 

Spiral Ear SE 3-way Reference (est. $790)

 

Like the 3MAX, the Spiral Ear 3-way uses a three balanced armatures in a full-shell silicone mold. However, despite its single bass driver and 3-way crossover, the Spiral Ear is significantly bassier than the Sensaphonics, offering a more full-bodied low end with quite a bit more impact. It boasts more subbass rumble and can summon up a lot more bass power when the track calls for it, appearing more dynamic as a result.

 

The more prominent midrange of the 3MAX gives it a forward vocal presentation and makes its mids appear clearer compared to the thicker and warmer-sounding 3-way Reference. The 3MAX is still a bit on the warm side of neutral, but not as much so as the 3-way. Due to the powerful bass of the 3-way, the 3MAX is more balanced overall, but outside of the bass region the response of the Spiral Ear is actually flatter and smoother. In the upper midrange region, the 3MAX boasts extra emphasis, which lends it a brighter tone, while the SE 3-way is very smooth. Lastly, there is a big difference in efficiency between the two earphones, with the Spiral Ear being much less sensitive and requiring more power.

 

Unique Melody Miracle ($950)

 

Unique Melody’s 6-driver flagship is tuned for a balanced, slightly laid-back sound, providing a healthy contrast to the 3MAX. Bass quantity is greater on the 3MAX - the Miracle boasts less mid-bass while extension and subbass presence are similar to the Sensaphonics. The Miracle sounds thinner, too, and its clarity is expectedly a bit better. The upper midrange emphasis of the 3MAX makes it sound somewhat “honky” next to the flatter and more laid-back Miracle. Tonally, both are close to neutral but the Miracle is a brighter with its more sparkly and crisp treble presentation. It sounds a little more spacious as well.

 

JH Audio JH13 Pro Freqphase ($1099)

 

The JH13 has recently become my benchmark for what a custom monitor should be – balanced, accurate, endlessly resolving, and yet dynamic and fun to listen to. The pro-oriented 3MAX doesn’t pursue the same sound signature, but it’s still interesting to compare the two. Like the UM Miracle, the JH13 is brighter in tone and clearer than the 3MAX. It’s more detailed, too, revealing fine musical nuances more readily and sounding more refined overall. The JH13 boasts similarly ample bass impact on tracks that call for it but also has greater ability to scale back, providing tighter, quicker, less intrusive bass when necessary. It also has more treble energy, sounds more crisp, and is more spacious as well, with a soundstage that boasts better width and depth in comparison to the 3MAX.

 

Heir Audio 8.A ($1299)

 

Yet another earphone with tuning very different from that of the 3MAX, the 8.A is an 8-driver custom with a warm and smooth sound signature. The 8.A is significantly warmer-sounding and has deeper, more powerful bass and smoother, less prominent mids. Despite this, the 8.A is still clearer than the 3MAX and resolves fine detail a little better as well. The overall sound of the Heir is more refined despite the 3MAX having a more neutral tone and better overall balance. The 8.A is also more extended at the top and has a more versatile and spacious presentation. The 3MAX, with its more intimate sound and more aggressive upper mids, sounds a little flat and dull next to the 8.A.

 

Value (7.5/10) – The Sensaphonics 3MAX may seem expensive for a triple-driver in-ear monitor, but it is a good earphone, though perhaps more so for musicians than casual listeners. One of the few custom manufacturers committed to using silicone shells, Sensaphonics maintains that the material offers advantages in fit, comfort, and noise isolation compared to acrylic. They certainly aren’t wrong - the 3MAX is extremely comfortable and its isolation is second only to the other silicone custom I have – the Spiral Ear 3-way Reference. Its sound signature also works with Sensaphonics’ stated goal of encouraging lower-volume listening – always a respectable focus. It may be limited in customization options compared to most of its acrylic counterparts, but if comfort and isolation are a priority alongside a near-neutral sound, the 3MAX is the custom earphone to get.   

 

Pros: Great isolation & comfort

Cons: Inserting silicone shells takes some getting used to; limited customization options

 

The table has been updated to include the 3MAX.


Edited by ljokerl - 10/3/13 at 12:22am
post #11665 of 16803
 

 

 

 

It's been a while since I had the UM3X but in very general terms the V3 will have more bass (esp mid-bass) and more treble presence and energy, with a less in-the-head, but still pretty forward, presentation. 

 

 



Thanks alot for your help!

post #11666 of 16803

alert for , indians , not sure if they will ship or not , but , what if they do ? xba-3 for rs3915 from flipkart .

post #11667 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by suman134 View Post
 

alert for , indians , not sure if they will ship or not , but , what if they do ? xba-3 for rs3915 from flipkart .

Out of stock

post #11668 of 16803

Been out of the IEM buying field for awhile and thought I'd stop by to check on the forum.

I see you're nearing that 300 review mark, keep it up Joker, and thank you for the hard work and contribution!

post #11669 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitesh View Post
 

Out of stock

 

   seems like people were tight on it . awesome discount any way .

post #11670 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by suman134 View Post
 

alert for , indians , not sure if they will ship or not , but , what if they do ? xba-3 for rs3915 from flipkart .

 

Must be an error. Too good to be true.

 

I wish Philips would just release the Fidelio S1/S2 already.

 

Me: When will the Fidelio S1/S2 be launched in India?

Philips customer care: Sir, We regret to inform you that the mentioned product is not launched in India yet

Me: I know it isn't released. Which is why I used the word "When"

Philips customer care: As informed you before, we would like to update you that the product is not launched in India yet.

 

Sigh... 

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