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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 214

post #3196 of 16802

Whoa 174 IEMs this must take you a long time to listen to them all. 

post #3197 of 16802
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazysleepyboi View Post

thinking about doing more custom IEMs soon joker?


Maybe

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweden View Post

It would be interesting to see if someone could estimate the total number of IEM's available on the market.

Also let separate world and US market.


I can't even estimate the number of brands that IEMs are sold under but it's definitely in the triple digits.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Aflac View Post

That's the thing - a dark fast armature sounds like it could be what I want. I like detail and I like speed but I don't particularly like a treble-oriented sound. You describe the CK90 as having a mostly neutral sound, with treble detail but no treble peaks. I'm a little surprised you say that you've never recommended it, your review sounds quite enticing. You say it's "quite dark for an armature", but I've noticed many of the BAs I've listened to have a treble-oriented sound (haven't heard a Westone or Earsonic). How does the CK90 balance compare to something like, say, a Turbine or the GR07?. If I ever get a chance to listen to them I would probably jump on the opportunity.


There are many BAs that are not treble oriented - Westone, Shures, Earsonics, etc. CK90 is hard to compare to a Turbine or GR07. The sound is much more 'armature' than that - fast and punchy. It's only got a bit more bass than the CK10, and significantly less treble.

post #3198 of 16802

Hi

 

Thank you again for 2 detailed review of the Shure SE530 and SE535. When I saw these reviewed, I went like "finally!" and couldn't wait to read it. 

 

I personally have heard of the SE530, and I agree with most of what you say. But I am perplexed by the rating system after this review. Despite the SE530 "failed to impress" and the entire review being quite critical of the SE530, it still scored a 9.2/10 for sound, which in my opinion is far too high based on your review and my own impressions. Even though the midrange was wonderful, the, and IMHO, dreadful treble performance should drag down its mark in sound out of a 9 and more like into a low 8. I'm sorry if me, a beginner, seems to be criticizing you, someone with much more experience, but this is my honest opinion

 

I have a question. How does the GR07, a 9.4, compare to the 9.2 SE530? I originally wanted to buy a DBA-02 because it has even better clarity than the RE0 with more bass, but I ultimately cancelled due to customer service and build quality issues and bought a GR07 based on the great reviews and good build quality. I know the GR07 is a smoother phone, not as trebly and analytical, but if the GR07 sounds anywhere near like a SE530 in treble, I have to cancel my order. 

 

I think I am an analytical listener, because I like a trebly sound, but I also like bass. I can't hear difference between the level of detail between two phones. I had a Shure E2c before the RE0, and I thought the RE0 was just a much more trebly phone than the E2c. As much as I love the RE0, the lack of bass and the thin sound makes me want to upgrade. The IE8 is probably my favorite IEM due to the V shaped sound. If I had $300, I'd just buy a CK10 and be done with it, but unfortunately $180 is already pushing it.

 

Thanks.


Edited by chengbin - 6/12/11 at 7:25pm
post #3199 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by chengbin View Post

But I am perplexed by the rating system after this review. Despite the SE530 "failed to impress" and the entire review being quite critical of the SE530, it still scored a 9.2/10 for sound, which in my opinion is far too high based on your review and my own impressions. Even though the midrange was wonderful, the, and IMHO, dreadful treble performance should drag down its mark in sound out of a 9 and more like into a low 8. I'm sorry if me, a beginner, seems to be criticizing you, someone with much more experience, but this is my honest opinion

 

From a couple of pages ago -

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

I've said it before, Joker seems able to set aside a sonic bias better than most.


This is not the first time Joker has rated an IEM he does not personally like higher (UM3X, SM3 are examples). I'd think treble would be just one of the parameters based on which he evaluates and assigns the final SQ score, but the weight is definitely not loaded in favor of treble to drag down SE530.

post #3200 of 16802


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by esanthosh View Post



 

From a couple of pages ago -


This is not the first time Joker has rated an IEM he does not personally like higher (UM3X, SM3 are examples). I'd think treble would be just one of the parameters based on which he evaluates and assigns the final SQ score, but the weight is definitely not loaded in favor of treble to drag down SE530.


 

I realize treble is just one component of sound, but I believe an earphone that can score >9 should do nothing bad. The treble on the SE530 are, well, bad. Also, I've never read such a critical review for an earphone getting >9

 

"the earphone lacks power, detail, and definition at the lowest of lows"

 

"SE530 is a touch on the boomy side"

 

"the SE530 yields little detail to the new crop of high-end monitors"

 

"More noticeable are the sacrifices in clarity and transparency"

 

"What’s missing is treble energy "

 

"I was slightly underwhelmed by the presentation of the SE530"

 

"the sound simply isn’t very well-separated"

 

"the original SE530 failed impress me in any major way" (that says a lot considering how good the midrange is on the SE530, yet ljokerl was not impressed in a major way)

 

This is why I questioned the 9.2/10 score because ljokerl's review is contradicting the score.

post #3201 of 16802

Keep in mind Joker considers the SE530 to have a street price of $400 new, and that's what he bases his review around. At least, that's how I view the framing of the sound score. If you go about reading some of the reviews, you'll notice that he doesn't sound very critical of some of the lower-end IEMs, and yet they can have much lower sound scores. In other words the context of the sound score is based around how much the IEM is worth.

 

I own both the GR07 and the SE530 and honestly, I prefer the more balanced sound of the SE530, taken price-blind. Both IEMs are slightly mid-centric, and are both very balanced with good extension, especially in the bass. I don't know what you dislike about the SE530 treble but to me, it's a little bit lacking in detail and does roll off a little bit early, but it's nothing too bad. The SE530 in general is a smooth and well-balanced IEM with no huge faults and a great midrange. The GR07 is relatively similar in that it has a pretty even frequency balance throughout the spectrum, with one fault, in that it has a somewhat sibilant treble, which gets worse at higher volumes. It's interesting, because this is the first IEM I've heard with sibilance, but not an emphasized treble. It's hard to say whether or not you will like the GR07 since you don't have a lot of reference points.

post #3202 of 16802

@Aflac

 

My main problem with the SE530 was the REALLY rolled off treble. Perhaps I was A/B'ing with a RE0 and IE8, but call me an average listener, but the SE530 sounds unimpressive, and even low end, due to the severely rolled off treble. 

 

Despite my dislike of the treble, I found the midrange to be amazing and the bass to be a bit bass heavy (which I like)

 

I'm not bashing the SE530, it does many things well, such as midrange, fit, isolation, build quality, and bass, but the rolled off treble just wasn't my cup of tea.

post #3203 of 16802


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chengbin View Post

@Aflac

 

My main problem with the SE530 was the REALLY rolled off treble. Perhaps I was A/B'ing with a RE0 and IE8, but call me an average listener, but the SE530 sounds unimpressive, and even low end, due to the severely rolled off treble. 

 

Despite my dislike of the treble, I found the midrange to be amazing and the bass to be a bit bass heavy (which I like)

 

I'm not bashing the SE530, it does many things well, such as midrange, fit, isolation, build quality, and bass, but the rolled off treble just wasn't my cup of tea.



remember, this is what joker thinks, not what the rest of us thinks. This is what he perceives, not what you perceive. Sometimes people will have the same impression for IEMs and other times not. Like most people say on this forum, "to each his own". Joker has done enough IEM reviews to know why he ranks things the way he does, and he knows how to tell good IEMs from bad IEMs. A score of 9 or 10 does not mean perfection, it means that it does a lot of things well and that joker liked the experience. I'm pretty sure he explains this in his opening statements, but for the most part, this is his opinion of these IEMs. Don't take it too seriously because what this provides for other people is a reference. Some people will agree and some other people like you will disagree, this forum is mostly opinion based

post #3204 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by chengbin View Post

@Aflac

 

My main problem with the SE530 was the REALLY rolled off treble. Perhaps I was A/B'ing with a RE0 and IE8, but call me an average listener, but the SE530 sounds unimpressive, and even low end, due to the severely rolled off treble. 

 

Despite my dislike of the treble, I found the midrange to be amazing and the bass to be a bit bass heavy (which I like)

 

I'm not bashing the SE530, it does many things well, such as midrange, fit, isolation, build quality, and bass, but the rolled off treble just wasn't my cup of tea.


IEM experience can vary greatly from person to person (I know this firsthand, re: my experience with the DBA-02). The RE0 is an extended IEM for its price range but IMO it's about the equivalent of the SE530. The IE8 I thought was terrible, and I never got so far as to look at treble extension because the midbass bloat was so bad. Different strokes for different people. You might have had a bad fit with the SE530, or maybe your ear canals just didn't like them. Reading reviews helps to narrow down targets for IEMs you think you would like but ultimately it's down to experience and first-hand listening.

 

post #3205 of 16802

This thread is an excellent read to catch up on as always, a shame joker gave the 1964-T a 10/10 on sound quality though, Lol.

Is it safe to say it doesn't have the unique strengths of some other IEM's? I mean for example, he says the Yuin OK1 has a nudity in the vocal presentation, ck10 forgiving of low quality source material, excellent high-end sparkle, etc.?  I mean with 9.X/10 scores on every universal, and a sudden 10/10 score on the custom, I get this dissapointing feeling "custom > universal", Lol, is that the case?

Also, a quick check on 1964's website, and the frequency graph on the 1964-D seems to have better high end extension than the 1964-T, however they both lack the 10kHz clarity spike present in many other headphones and IEM's like the CK10 and W4... just my initial thoughts. =)

post #3206 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by chengbin View Post

I realize treble is just one component of sound, but I believe an earphone that can score >9 should do nothing bad. The treble on the SE530 are, well, bad. Also, I've never read such a critical review for an earphone getting >9

 

IMHO, no IEM is perfect. Not all of us perceive IEMs similarly. There are many IEMs that scored above 9, but still have "flaws" according to individual tastes and preferences.

 

As you pointed out, the review does point out it's defects. But, there's always the question of benchmarks. An IEM can be "bad" compared to those which are higher up the SQ score, but can still be better than those which have lesser SQ score. IMO, Joker had to put an older SE530 in it's place among the current crop of top-tiers and that's not possible without describing the flaws. At the same time, knowing that he's trying to be as objective as he can be, SE530 should have bettered the other IEMs on few other parameters to earn that 9.2 score. If he had to bring personal preferences into the SQ score, I am sure SE53X would have scored lesser.

 

I am just trying to interpret based on how I think the scoring system works.

 

@Aflac,

 

I'd think that $400 price would be reflected more in the Value for Money score. I am not sure if price range has an influence on the SQ score.

post #3207 of 16802
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chengbin View Post

I personally have heard of the SE530, and I agree with most of what you say. But I am perplexed by the rating system after this review. Despite the SE530 "failed to impress" and the entire review being quite critical of the SE530, it still scored a 9.2/10 for sound, which in my opinion is far too high based on your review and my own impressions. Even though the midrange was wonderful, the, and IMHO, dreadful treble performance should drag down its mark in sound out of a 9 and more like into a low 8. I'm sorry if me, a beginner, seems to be criticizing you, someone with much more experience, but this is my honest opinion

 

I have a question. How does the GR07, a 9.4, compare to the 9.2 SE530? I originally wanted to buy a DBA-02 because it has even better clarity than the RE0 with more bass, but I ultimately cancelled due to customer service and build quality issues and bought a GR07 based on the great reviews and good build quality. I know the GR07 is a smoother phone, not as trebly and analytical, but if the GR07 sounds anywhere near like a SE530 in treble, I have to cancel my order. 

 

I think I am an analytical listener, because I like a trebly sound, but I also like bass. I can't hear difference between the level of detail between two phones. I had a Shure E2c before the RE0, and I thought the RE0 was just a much more trebly phone than the E2c. As much as I love the RE0, the lack of bass and the thin sound makes me want to upgrade. The IE8 is probably my favorite IEM due to the V shaped sound. If I had $300, I'd just buy a CK10 and be done with it, but unfortunately $180 is already pushing it.


Aflac is right - the negative tone of the review has more to do with the expectations set by the Shure earphones. Saying 'good clarity' about a $20 product is very different than saying the same about triple-armature flagship. Same goes for all of the other things I said about the Shures - they don't perform as well as an SM3, for example, but they are good enough in most ways. For the record, I don't think the SE530 is particularly rolled off. I think its extension is pretty average (and I think the IE8 is way above average on that count). It just has trouble making what's there sound realistic and energetic.

 

I do think you will like the GR07. It's not lacking any treble or bass. I would not get the DBA-02 or CK10 if I were you.

 



Quote:

Originally Posted by chengbin View Post

I'm not bashing the SE530, it does many things well, such as midrange, fit, isolation, build quality, and bass, but the rolled off treble just wasn't my cup of tea.



Exactly. There are many who would say the SE530 sounds natural and the CK10 or RE0 has way too much treble. I don't necessarily agree with that but I won't call the SE530 a low-end product just because it presents treble a certain way. If you look at its score, it does fare worse than pretty much every other big-name flagship, and its performance at the limits plays a big role in that, but I can't say that those who like its presentation are simply wasting their money. If this was "joker's multi-iem opinion thread", it would look very different. More often than not my personal opinion bleeds into the writing style but not into the scores and evaluations. I haven't heard an earphone that I didn't find flawed in some way in quite a while (UM Miracle excepted). Some annoy me more than others, but who's to say that what gets on my nerves is 'wrong' and what does not is 'right'.

 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

This thread is an excellent read to catch up on as always, a shame joker gave the 1964-T a 10/10 on sound quality though, Lol.

Is it safe to say it doesn't have the unique strengths of some other IEM's? I mean for example, he says the Yuin OK1 has a nudity in the vocal presentation, ck10 forgiving of low quality source material, excellent high-end sparkle, etc.?  I mean with 9.X/10 scores on every universal, and a sudden 10/10 score on the custom, I get this dissapointing feeling "custom > universal", Lol, is that the case?

Also, a quick check on 1964's website, and the frequency graph on the 1964-D seems to have better high end extension than the 1964-T, however they both lack the 10kHz clarity spike present in many other headphones and IEM's like the CK10 and W4... just my initial thoughts. =)


The 1964-T is not perfect but it does combine quite a few good traits in one package. It's the Klipsch Custom 3 sound on steroids. I do not think it does any one thing better than all universals, no. For that it seems you need to go to the $500+ range customs. It's safe to say I'll be rescaling the review again when the UM Miracle is added.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by esanthosh View Post

As you pointed out, the review does point out it's defects. But, there's always the question of benchmarks. An IEM can be "bad" compared to those which are higher up the SQ score, but can still be better than those which have lesser SQ score. IMO, Joker had to put an older SE530 in it's place among the current crop of top-tiers and that's not possible without describing the flaws. At the same time, knowing that he's trying to be as objective as he can be, SE530 should have bettered the other IEMs on few other parameters to earn that 9.2 score. If he had to bring personal preferences into the SQ score, I am sure SE53X would have scored lesser.

Actually I like the signature of the SE535, just not its performance. Putting something at 9.2 means that I think, on balance, that it performs better than something given a 9.1 and worse than something given a 9.3. Every single IEM has its own issues and balancing them against each other is proving very difficult. 

post #3208 of 16802

Um3x 9.4 and shure 535 9.3? I have both and with custom tips shure 535 are not only better in my opinion are much better in sq in construction they are in another league.

post #3209 of 16802

I demo'ed the Shure SE535 at Jaben in Singapore for like... 2 minutes, and my impression was it sounded very average and I could hardly detect any differences from the lower priced Shure models I listened to there.

 

I'm interested in trying it again, but those 2 minutes were the most boring of my IEM life.

post #3210 of 16802

I'm curious about customs now and want to start with the lowest end model possible just to see what it's like, single or dual driver, what to get.

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