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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 796

post #11926 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post
 

 

Not familiar with the FAD heaven. The W4 is good but it might have a little too much mid-bass if you want neutral, and there's not much treble sparkle. The SM64 is closer than the W4 to what you're after. It's definitely not a neutral earphone but it seems like it would be a good fit. It has more sub-bass than a strictly accurate earphone but overall the bass is not intrusive. There's an upper midrange dip, but the vocals are not dull as they can be with the UE900. The SE535 would also be good except for the lack of treble sparkle.

 

Thanks Joker. How does the SM64 perform unamped straight through an mp3 player, since the impedance on these are quite high. I have tried the SM3 briefly before and the thing that bothered me the most about them is the lack of clarity in the mids due to the note thickness. Does the SM64 have the same issues? 

 

I have the CK100 at the moment as my main iem. From reading the review the Se535 sounds quite similar to the CK100's since they both have forward mids, light bass and an intimate soundstage.


Edited by Love Music - 10/28/13 at 8:27am
post #11927 of 16802
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amitl View Post
 

i'm enjoying the MEElec CW31 that you and joker recommended me about :)

i owe a big thank you to both of you.

 

Glad you like the CWs! It's a shame they seem to have been discontinued.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justgotlucky123 View Post
 

hey joker, can you do a review of tdk eb950 and the nuforce ne-650m? 

 

Sorry, don't have either on hand at this time. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Music View Post
 

The thing I liked most about the UE900 was the treble extension and the height of there soundstage. Also the bass was just the right level.

 

 

Thanks for the suggestion. I already have a CK100 and I believe that they have quite similar sound sigs, but I think the CK100 performs better technically and it hasn't got that treble roll off. I have not heard it though that is what I got from reading Joker's review on them.

 

IIRC it also has a bit of bass roll-off compared to the 535 or SM64. It's a unique-sounding earphone even by today's standards. I've always hope the replacement CK100Pro would perform even better overall ;).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Music View Post
 

 

Thanks Joker. How does the SM64 perform unamped straight through an mp3 player, since the impedance on these are quite high. I have tried the SM3 briefly before and the thing that bothered me the most about them is the lack of clarity in the mids due to the note thickness. Does the SM64 have the same issues? 

 

I have the CK100 at the moment as my main iem. From reading the review the Se535 sounds quite similar to the CK100's since they both have forward mids, light bass and an intimate soundstage.

 

The SM64 is clearer than and not quite as thick as the SM3 - there's a short A:B at the end of my SM64 review. It didn't seem very hard to drive with decent sources like the Cowon J3 - it forces you to crank up the volume but the sound quality doesn't really suffer. If you're using a poorer source there will likely be a larger difference between amped and unamped. 

post #11928 of 16802
FWIW the Clip Zip drives the SM64 quite nicely.
post #11929 of 16802

thanx Suman and Joker! :)

post #11930 of 16802
Thread Starter 

Added the Custom Art Music One :etysmile:

 

Quote:
 

(1C22) Custom Art Music One

 

Reviewed October 2013

 

Details: Single BA model from Poland-based Custom Art, owned and operated by a long-time Head-Fi member piotrus-g
Starting Price:  €189 (est. $260) from thecustomart.com
Specs: Driver: BA | Imp: 41Ω | Sens: 109 dB | Freq: 10-20k Hz | Cable: 4.2’ L-plug
Wear Style: Over-the-ear

 

Accessories (5/5) – Cleaning tool, Otterbox 1000 crushproof storage/carrying case, and compact clamshell carrying case
Build Quality (5/5) – The Music One is a full-shell silicone custom monitor with excellent shell quality. A fixed cable is standard, but detachable cabling is available as an option. The fixed cable lacks external strain relief but the silicone of the shells does the same job better. The cord itself is among my all-time favorites - very soft and slightly rubberized, it is resistant to both microphonics and tangling. There are also far more customization options available for the Music One than my other silicone customs, and Custom Art even offers themed visual designs dubbed “State of Art” at an extra cost. My unit has blue shells, clear tips, and color-coded nozzles, and came with a matching blue carrying case
Isolation (5/5) – Excellent, falling just behind my Spiral Ear 3-way Reference, which has a musician’s fit with longer canals
Microphonics (5/5) – None – the soft, rubbery cable is completely silent
Comfort (5/5) – The flexible, low-profile silicone shells of the Music One can be hard to grip and take slightly longer to insert and remove compared to more rigid acrylic customs, but are extremely comfortable and maintain seal better with changes to ear canal shape, such as while chewing or talking. Built around a single balanced armature driver, the Music One has the lowest profile of all my custom monitors and its soft cables are made more unobtrusive by the lack of a strain relief and memory wire. All in all, it is the most comfortable of all my earphones, custom-fit or otherwise

 

Sound (9.2/10) – From the first listen it was clear that the Custom Art Music One, which utilizes a vented balanced armature driver, is one of the best earphones in its class. It pursues a very coherent, natural sound that impresses with its weight and smoothness. The low end extends well and offers up good impact. It is tighter than the boomier, more mid-bassy 1964EARS 1964-V3 but, as with the other silicone customs I’ve reviewed thus far, there is a certain difficult-to-describe characteristic to the bass that makes the earphones seem more impactful while taking away slightly from the detail and texture, which I attribute to the silicone. This allows the Music One to maintain good bass control while providing ample presence – more than with the dynamic-drover HiFiMan RE-400 and the Ultimate Ears 600, for example – but also means it can’t quite keep up with the low-end resolution of, for example, the pricier EarSonics SM64.

 

The mids of the Music One are smooth and clear, with good note thickness and again a very natural presentation. The midrange is definitely one of the strengths of the earphone but doesn’t present as overly forward, likely due to the impactful bass. The HiFiMan RE-400 and Ultimate Ears 600 both seem a touch more mid-centric than the Music One, for example. Clarity is excellent as well, falling just a hair behind higher-priced sets such as the EarSonics SM64 and 1964EARS V3.

 

The treble of the Custom Art is a little less prominent but still remains in good balance with the overall sound, reminding me of the way recent HiFiMan releases have been tuned. It is not the most crisp-sounding, but tends to be natural and smooth. The same is true of the presentation – the Music One has a spacious sound, especially compared to the majority of other single-BA earphones. It also impresses with good soundstage depth and the ability to portray intimacy properly when necessary, further making it a great all-rounder.

 

Select Comparisons

 

MEElectronics A161P ($100) 

 

The A161P is a single-armature earphone based on a Knowles ED transducer and tuned for a crisp and punchy sound. The A161P and Custom Art Music One are not exceedingly different in terms of balance, and on some tracks sound rather similar overall. With in-depth listening, however, it becomes clear that the Music One is a significantly more refined earphone.

 

While the A161P has good bass punch for a single-armature set, the Music One is more impactful and has a thicker, weightier note presentation. Its tone is warmer overall and it makes the A161P sound thin in comparison. The A161P tends to be brighter and, next to the rather smooth Music One, sounds somewhat harsh and grainy. The A161P is also more forward while the Music One offers a wider presentation with better depth and imaging.

 

VSonic GR07 ($179) 

 

One of the many reasons the dynamic-driver VSonic GR07 has maintained its popularity over the past few years is that it can go toe to toe with many higher-priced sets. Pitted against the Custom Art Music One, it loses out in midrange and treble quality but partly makes up for it with great bass. The main differences lie in the midrange, where the Music One offers better presence and clarity. The GR07, in comparison, sounds slightly mid-recessed. This, in turn, accentuates the bass of the VSonics, which appears a little more impactful but also quicker compared to the Music One. The Custom Art unit offers smoother treble while the more energetic GR07 is susceptible to sibilance. The presentation of the GR07 tends to have good width and little else, while the Music One is more well-rounded and offers depth and imaging to match.

 

Etymotic Research ER4S ($249) 

 

Long-time industry leader and innovator Etymotic Research first released the ER4 in 1991, and its ER4S tuning remains one of my all-time favorite universal-fit earphones. The Custom Art Music One and ER4S each have advantages over the other and it’s difficult to pick a clear winner here. The Music One definitely sounds fuller and warmer overall, thanks in part to its weightier low end. Despite the bass, however, it appears a bit more mid-centric overall. Its treble is less prominent and more forgiving, and its midrange – thicker and more attention-grabbing. The leaner ER4S can at times sound a touch clearer and has a small advantage in overall balance, while the Music One oftentimes sounds more natural thanks to its thicker, fuller sound.

 

ClearTuneMonitors CT-200 ($350) 

 

The ClearTuneMonitors CT-200 is a dual-driver acrylic custom priced higher than the Custom Art Music One. It is a neutral-sounding earphone that rolls off gently at either end of the frequency spectrum. Compared to the CT-200, the Music One has an advantage in bass depth and impact. Its low end is more extended and powerful, and grants the earphone a warmer overall tone. The CT-200 is brighter overall, presenting more forward upper mids in comparison. It also sounds a touch clearer and its treble is more crisp, appearing a little more detailed as a result. In terms of presentation, the CT-200 is more spacious and open-sounding while the Music One tends to be slightly more intimate. Nonetheless, the Music One again sounds very natural in this comparison – arguably more so than the CT-200 thanks to its warmer, thicker sound.

 

Alclair Reference ($399) 

 

The triple-driver, acrylic-shelled Alclair Reference is an accurate-sounding earphone that offers good presence across the entire frequency spectrum. It has similar bass depth and impact to the Custom Art Music One but tends to be a little tighter and more detailed. As with the VSonic GR07, its midrange is more recessed compared to the Music One, which has rather prominent mids. The Reference is still clearer, however, and seems more resolving as well. In general, the Alclair monitor sounds better up to the upper midrange, where it starts to display some stridency. Its treble is more prominent overall and tends to be peakier and more sibilant. The Music One, on the other hand, is smooth and far more forgiving, and sounds more natural overall in the treble region. Finally, the Reference is overall more spacious and images a little better than the Music One.

 

Value (10/10) – The Custom Art Music One is an excellent value, combining the noise isolation of custom-fit silicone shells with a single balanced armature driver delivering an organic, coherent sound. The ultra-light low-profile silicone shells of the Music One put its fit and comfort above not only universal monitors, but other customs as well. Lastly, in addition to great attention to detail spanning everything from the cable to the accessory pack, the Music One offers more customization options compared to other silicone CIEMs, making it an even tougher earphone to fault on any front.

 

Pros: Great isolation & comfort; fantastic cable; great audio performance
Cons: Low-profile shells can be tough to remove from ears

 

The Music One has also been added to the comparison table at http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone-list/

post #11931 of 16802

I'm not surprised the Music One is a winner.  My Custom Art Pro 330 is absolutely excellent.

post #11932 of 16802

But the Music One is exceptional because of its smooth natural sounding, without any harshness or sibilance. As far as I know it's hard to find such fun earphones among CIEMs.

|joker| thanks for the review! :ksc75smile:

post #11933 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericr View Post

FWIW the Clip Zip drives the SM64 quite nicely.

Great thanks.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post
 

 

IIRC it also has a bit of bass roll-off compared to the 535 or SM64. It's a unique-sounding earphone even by today's standards. I've always hope the replacement CK100Pro would perform even better overall ;).

 

 

The SM64 is clearer than and not quite as thick as the SM3 - there's a short A:B at the end of my SM64 review. It didn't seem very hard to drive with decent sources like the Cowon J3 - it forces you to crank up the volume but the sound quality doesn't really suffer. If you're using a poorer source there will likely be a larger difference between amped and unamped. 

 

The CK100 is a really special iem indeed, I really like the way they present vocals. Really looking forward to your review on the CK100Pro's :D

 

Thanks Joker. Now to decide between the SM64, Heaven V and Heaven VI...

post #11934 of 16802

I'm in search of a fairly good IEM in the price range of $20-25. I've been thinking about the Brainwavz Delta and the Quadbeat 2 - neither of which have reviews here, but the initial impressions make me think these would be the best choices - though obviously I'm open to new ideas. My preferred sound signature is a slight V-shape with a lot of detail, or at least as much as one can get in this price range.

 

Backstory: After a lot of hesitation, roughly two months ago I bought a JVC HA-FXD80, seeing a great offer for it. I was really impressed (though a slightly less recessed midrange would've been nice, but it was still alright), especially by their clarity, but two days ago they broke - the right side became incredibly quiet, barely audible. This happening after such a short time is really disappointing, but I don't see how I could get them repaired, since this doesn't seem to be a cable issue.

 

Thanks in advance. :x

post #11935 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by TooLazy View Post
 

I'm in search of a fairly good IEM in the price range of $20-25. I've been thinking about the Brainwavz Delta and the Quadbeat 2 - neither of which have reviews here, but the initial impressions make me think these would be the best choices - though obviously I'm open to new ideas. My preferred sound signature is a slight V-shape with a lot of detail, or at least as much as one can get in this price range.

 

Backstory: After a lot of hesitation, roughly two months ago I bought a JVC HA-FXD80, seeing a great offer for it. I was really impressed (though a slightly less recessed midrange would've been nice, but it was still alright), especially by their clarity, but two days ago they broke - the right side became incredibly quiet, barely audible. This happening after such a short time is really disappointing, but I don't see how I could get them repaired, since this doesn't seem to be a cable issue.

 

Thanks in advance. :x

Other headphones work fine with your source? Maybe try to wipe the plug or Q-tip the port clean. Is the FXD80 still under warranty?

 

if you're willing to up your price range to ~$50, the Vsonic VSD1 lineup may suit your preference.

 

Joker's review:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/more-less-vsonic-vsd1-and-vsd1s

 

Discussion thread:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/663709/vsonic-vsd1-vsd1s-reviews-impression-thread/1050#post_9932408

post #11936 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post
 

 

Glad you like the CWs! It's a shame they seem to have been discontinued.

 

 

 

Yep, agree. Discontinued - like CC51 and CX21, a really good ones.

 

BTW , before a month bought my VC1000 and really  enjoy it ! Yesterday (or today?)  reed your Custom Art Music One review... So what to say , am I need one more pair of  IEM (rhetorical question....) ? 
1.) Never had a custom ones. 
2.) Poland is my neighborhood. 
3.) Price seems very affordable!. 
4.) My 55th birthday is very soon : in March...
5.) My wifes gift will be a pair of socks. 
Yes I need!
Waiting for your 333rd review. Congrats in advance!

:beerchug: 


Edited by garcsa - 10/29/13 at 8:22am
post #11937 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by TooLazy View Post
 

I'm in search of a fairly good IEM in the price range of $20-25. I've been thinking about the Brainwavz Delta and the Quadbeat 2 - neither of which have reviews here, but the initial impressions make me think these would be the best choices - though obviously I'm open to new ideas. My preferred sound signature is a slight V-shape with a lot of detail, or at least as much as one can get in this price range.

 

Backstory: After a lot of hesitation, roughly two months ago I bought a JVC HA-FXD80, seeing a great offer for it. I was really impressed (though a slightly less recessed midrange would've been nice, but it was still alright), especially by their clarity, but two days ago they broke - the right side became incredibly quiet, barely audible. This happening after such a short time is really disappointing, but I don't see how I could get them repaired, since this doesn't seem to be a cable issue.

 

Thanks in advance. :x

There is actually a decent bit of information (with more impressions to come) on the QB 2 over here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/686412/lg-quadbeat-2-appreciation-thread Seems like it could be a great budget-friendly option the way the MH1/MH1C is, and to a slightly lesser extent the original Quadbeat.

post #11938 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by TooLazy View Post
 

I'm in search of a fairly good IEM in the price range of $20-25. I've been thinking about the Brainwavz Delta and the Quadbeat 2 - neither of which have reviews here, but the initial impressions make me think these would be the best choices - though obviously I'm open to new ideas. My preferred sound signature is a slight V-shape with a lot of detail, or at least as much as one can get in this price range.

 

Backstory: After a lot of hesitation, roughly two months ago I bought a JVC HA-FXD80, seeing a great offer for it. I was really impressed (though a slightly less recessed midrange would've been nice, but it was still alright), especially by their clarity, but two days ago they broke - the right side became incredibly quiet, barely audible. This happening after such a short time is really disappointing, but I don't see how I could get them repaired, since this doesn't seem to be a cable issue.

 

Thanks in advance. :x

 

you might want to check out this thread. It has quite a few budget IEMs that can be gotton from amazon for 20 or less. 

post #11939 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by esteebin View Post
 

Other headphones work fine with your source? Maybe try to wipe the plug or Q-tip the port clean. Is the FXD80 still under warranty?

 

if you're willing to up your price range to ~$50, the Vsonic VSD1 lineup may suit your preference.

 

Joker's review:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/more-less-vsonic-vsd1-and-vsd1s

 

Discussion thread:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/663709/vsonic-vsd1-vsd1s-reviews-impression-thread/1050#post_9932408

Yes, I've checked the FXD80 with other sources and the same sources with other earphones. I've also cleaned the ports, checked the earphones for possible wax - to no effect. Unfortunately that $25 jump would be a bit too steep for me right now. :x

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by modulor View Post
 

There is actually a decent bit of information (with more impressions to come) on the QB 2 over here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/686412/lg-quadbeat-2-appreciation-thread Seems like it could be a great budget-friendly option the way the MH1/MH1C is, and to a slightly lesser extent the original Quadbeat.

 

Yes, I've seen that thread and am subscribed to it. That overwhelmingly positive feedback is what made me consider it, though I'm still a little worried it might just be hype.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artem View Post
 

 

you might want to check out this thread. It has quite a few budget IEMs that can be gotton from amazon for 20 or less. 

I visit that thread quite frequently, though lately it seems like most of the "discoveries" have been a bit pricier. It does seem like a good resource, though.

 

Thanks for the replies everyone! I'll wait for a few more, since I'm horribly indecisive, but I'm leaning towards the Quadbeat 2 despite the flat cable.

post #11940 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Music View Post
 

Hi Joker,

 

I am looking for an new iem with a big soundstage, forward vocals , good detail and clarity. I am not a basshead so I want my bass to be accurate/neutral. In terms of treble I like some sparkle but never harsh/sibilant with good extension. I listen to a wide variety of different music ranging from rock, metal, jazz, vocals, post rock, shoegaze, pop, r'n'b, hip hop, rap, instrumentals, classical. Some of the music can be really complex so this iem must also have good instrument seperation and imaging. I had previously owned an UE900, which was quite a good iem but I found vocals to sound distant and hollow at times so I returned it in the end. Currently I'm thinking of the W4, SM64 and the new FAD heaven iem's. What do you think will be most suitable? 

Love Music, that description is close to what many people say about Sony's MDR-7550. ljokerl or others care to comment?

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