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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 137

post #2041 of 16803
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shufny View Post

I just suggested the XR because it's getting really good feedback, and Thomas even promised to one of our members, that he would send you a pair. :) The others are not that intresting imho. (many prefer them to the TD, mainly because of the lower bass levels)

Makes me wonder what was the deal with my K330s. I read people complain about lack of bass or calling them bright. I think mine sounded like the definition of "bass bleed". Other than that it was fine I guess, but defenetly wasn't balanced when sealed properly
 



Ha, Thomas didn't offer me anything the last time we exchanged emails. Maybe I'll contact him again. 

 

And my K330 is somewhere between balanced and bass-light. Reminds me of the iM-590 though perhaps I need to try different tips. I haven't spent much time with it in the 6+ months I've had it since it doesn't really do anything for me. I can see people calling them bright as they have a bit of an accent on the lower treble.


Edited by ljokerl - 2/7/11 at 4:00pm
post #2042 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

Regarding instrument separation on DBA-02: I think it's every bit as good as on UM3X, if not better to my ears.



actualy i almost agree there, id say not just quite the same as the UM3x but its is very good.  lol oops for me forgetting to stick that in the review i just did of them

post #2043 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2410 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

Regarding instrument separation on DBA-02: I think it's every bit as good as on UM3X, if not better to my ears.



actualy i almost agree there, id say not just quite the same as the UM3x but its is very good.  lol oops for me forgetting to stick that in the review i just did of them

 

IMO, the differences could easily come down to which tips you use.

post #2044 of 16803

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

There is a hint of mid/upper-bass bloat, making the W3 sound just a touch muddy compared to tight-and-fast dual armature models (CK10, DBA-02, q-JAYS, etc). Worth noting is that a few decibels of equalization in the 100-150Hz range can really help level the W3 out while preserving the excellent depth and texture of the low end.

 

Joker, wonder if when you talk about W3 sounding a “touch muddy” due to the “hint of mid/upper-bass bloat” you refer to my main problem with my W3 which I’ll describe shortly?

 

Before getting W3 as an upgrade for my HJE900 (that have too hot highs to my tastes) I was wary of infamous sibilance everybody are talking about. Luckily with both ways of circumcising tri-flanges (cutting stem or cutting top flange) I get what seems like a consistent and good seal with no trace of sibilance and very nice detailed but controlled treble.

 

But I’m a little mystified by my main beef with W3. They possess smooth but detailed mids and highs, good dynamics, excellent in both width and depth soundstage and strong (well, sometimes bordering on boomy) lows. In short almost everything I was looking for. But I can’t fully enjoy them – somehow despite all the detail, image separation, musicality and other virtues W3 sound - how best to say  - not muffled,  not veiled, but maybe too warm or as you say “muddy”.  It’s like detail and clarity are all there and in spades but I have to consciously concentrate to enjoy them. Otherwise warm goo, for lack of better word, irritates and distracts from music. I tried W3 out of my FiiO 7 or straight from iPhone 4 with same results. Unfortunately I’m away from home without laptop and my rockboxed Clip+ so I can’t try to EQ it.

 

So what is it? A matter of just some EQ within 100-150Hz, seal problem, need to mentally adjust after bright HJE900 or something inherent to W3?

 

 

post #2045 of 16803

^Is it the lows in general that are too strong, or just the warmth? If it's the warmth, EQing down a couple decibels somewhere between 150 and 250Hz can make a big difference. If it's everything try setting up a low shelf filter around 150 or 200Hz. And of course, give yourself a couple of days to adjust (with breaks) before making a final decision.

post #2046 of 16803

Westone 3 is no upgrade over HJE900. The Panasonics sound way more coherent and fun to my ears.

post #2047 of 16803


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by albau View Post

 

But I’m a little mystified by my main beef with W3. They possess smooth but detailed mids and highs, good dynamics, excellent in both width and depth soundstage and strong (well, sometimes bordering on boomy) lows. In short almost everything I was looking for. But I can’t fully enjoy them – somehow despite all the detail, image separation, musicality and other virtues W3 sound - how best to say  - not muffled,  not veiled, but maybe too warm or as you say “muddy”.  It’s like detail and clarity are all there and in spades but I have to consciously concentrate to enjoy them. Otherwise warm goo, for lack of better word, irritates and distracts from music. I tried W3 out of my FiiO 7 or straight from iPhone 4 with same results. Unfortunately I’m away from home without laptop and my rockboxed Clip+ so I can’t try to EQ it.

 

So what is it? A matter of just some EQ within 100-150Hz, seal problem, need to mentally adjust after bright HJE900 or something inherent to W3?

 

 

 

The problem is that they are a bad multi driver design with improperly matched drivers. This leads to all kinds of strange problems with phase coherency and stuff. I am no technical guru, but I experienced exactly the same issues with the W3 that you experience and I can tell you that this is no ordinary problem with the frequency response, or sound quality - it is a problem with driver matching, period. If you want to hear a truly well designed multi driver, I recommend Fischer Audio DBA-02. It's not perfect, but way better designed than most multi driver armatures IMO. But the most accurate IEM I've heard so far is the single driver Etymotic ER4.

post #2048 of 16803

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

Westone 3 is no upgrade over HJE900. The Panasonics sound way more coherent and fun to my ears.


Not sure that compared to W3 I can call HJE900 more coherent but it for sure more fun to my ears also. It's rather damning that we even have to compare $100 can against $350 one.

post #2049 of 16803

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post


The problem is that they are a bad multi driver design with improperly matched drivers. This leads to all kinds of strange problems with phase coherency and stuff. I am no technical guru, but I experienced exactly the same issues with the W3 that you experience and I can tell you that this is no ordinary problem with the frequency response, or sound quality - it is a problem with driver matching, period. If you want to hear a truly well designed multi driver, I recommend Fischer Audio DBA-02. It's not perfect, but way better designed than most multi driver armatures IMO. But the most accurate IEM I've heard so far is the single driver Etymotic ER4.

 

Thanks Pianist for the insight. Unfortunately I'm not that sophisticated and not really after accuracy, neutrality and balance if it doesn't sound to me like fun, energetic and doesn't lets me enjoy my classic/hard rock while working out (for classic, fado and jazz I have my beloved K-501 and HD-600 at home). For my uses best multi armature IEMs were UE super.fi 5 Pro but two copies I had both broke after a year or so. In single BA land I used to have Etys ER4p but frankly for my gym music they were too bright, thin and fatiguing. Audoe PFEs were too boring. I read all the raves about DBA-02 but afraid they are in the same mold as Etys.

 

If I hate one thing then it's sibilance which I gather DBAs are prone to.  Actually that's my only real problem with HJE. Foam mod does cure it but at the expense of muffling mids. I tried to jump to MTPG but at 2.5x price I didn't find them much of an improvement over HJE and they proved too fidly with insertion depth and angle. Then this W3 fiasco. I guess I'll have to stick with HJE or maybe try TF10?
 

post #2050 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by albau View Post

If I hate one thing then it's sibilance which I gather DBAs are prone to.  Actually that's my only real problem with HJE. Foam mod does cure it but at the expense of muffling mids. I tried to jump to MTPG but at 2.5x price I didn't find them much of an improvement over HJE and they proved too fidly with insertion depth and angle. Then this W3 fiasco. I guess I'll have to stick with HJE or maybe try TF10?
 



The UE Superfi 5 Pro is supposed to be really good for rock, have you looked at them yet?

post #2051 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by macrocheesium View Post





The UE Superfi 5 Pro is supposed to be really good for rock, have you looked at them yet?



 



Like I said before 5 Pros were my favs but two pairs died one me after a year so I was trying to stay clear of UE.
post #2052 of 16803
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by albau View Post

Joker, wonder if when you talk about W3 sounding a “touch muddy” due to the “hint of mid/upper-bass bloat” you refer to my main problem with my W3 which I’ll describe shortly?

 

Before getting W3 as an upgrade for my HJE900 (that have too hot highs to my tastes) I was wary of infamous sibilance everybody are talking about. Luckily with both ways of circumcising tri-flanges (cutting stem or cutting top flange) I get what seems like a consistent and good seal with no trace of sibilance and very nice detailed but controlled treble.

 

But I’m a little mystified by my main beef with W3. They possess smooth but detailed mids and highs, good dynamics, excellent in both width and depth soundstage and strong (well, sometimes bordering on boomy) lows. In short almost everything I was looking for. But I can’t fully enjoy them – somehow despite all the detail, image separation, musicality and other virtues W3 sound - how best to say  - not muffled,  not veiled, but maybe too warm or as you say “muddy”.  It’s like detail and clarity are all there and in spades but I have to consciously concentrate to enjoy them. Otherwise warm goo, for lack of better word, irritates and distracts from music. I tried W3 out of my FiiO 7 or straight from iPhone 4 with same results. Unfortunately I’m away from home without laptop and my rockboxed Clip+ so I can’t try to EQ it.

 

So what is it? A matter of just some EQ within 100-150Hz, seal problem, need to mentally adjust after bright HJE900 or something inherent to W3?



It seems like we are talking about the same thing but the best way to tell would be to try the EQ - if it doesn't help then another solution is obviously in order. If you really are sensitive to sibilance i am not sure why you decided to risk it with the W3 because even at its best it is a treble-heavy earphone. I would think that one of the smoother dynamics (e.g. RE262), an e-Q7, or one of the flatter armatures (W2, etc) would be a prime candidate, especially if you prefer the dark-ish SF5Pro.

post #2053 of 16803
I'm sensitive to sibilance but strangely enough W3 with moded tri-flanges to my ears don't have even a trace of sibilance even on the bright tracks where HJE900 would be simply painfull.
post #2054 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by albau View Post


 

Like I said before 5 Pros were my favs but two pairs died one me after a year so I was trying to stay clear of UE.


I have no idea how I missed that... whoops.

post #2055 of 16803

Following your guys advise I finally got a hold of rockboxed clip+ that has parametric EQ and after some tinkering settled on dialing down 2dB around 130Hz on low shelf filter. Amazingly effect is like using Afrin to clear stuffed nose. Warmish goo over W3 sound is much less prominent, bass got more disciplined and better shaped and overall detail and separation got more pronounced because they aren’t overshadowed. Highs stand out now better within overall balance but thankfully still no sign of sibilance.

 

Normally I don’t EQ phones, never had to do it for HJE or for 5 Pros or Etys. That’s why using iPhone wasn’t a problem and is actually very convenient so I don’t have to carry a separate player, do extra fiddle with syncing, playlists and so on.  In fact built-in amp on iPhone 4 is more powerful than clip+, to my ears sounds better and EQ makes clip+ even more wimpy. It’s still disappointing to have to go through all this trouble to make famed $350 triple driver IEMs sound close to expectations and at least partially beat the $100 phone.

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