or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 215

post #3211 of 16802


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

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.



at the prices that customs offer, there is no point in going lower than three drivers IMO. Given that the difference is 125 dollars between a single and a triple, you can really just get the triple and be happy with it. I don't understand charts very much, so I'm saying this off of what I hear a lot of people saying. Generally, charts aren't entirely the tell all for IEMs or high end headphones. They answer some questions when you don't like a certain part of the headphone, but generally, it's always a rule of thumb to try things out yourself before. That being said, customs are pretty expensive compared to Universals. You pay more for the added isolation and comfort, and in some ways it pays off. Depends on where you get your impressions, but they can vary between 50-150 dollars, and then since you're in Australia, if you get 1964ears, you'll have to worry about customs. I'm not trying to deter you from getting customs, I'm just saying that there's a lot of things to consider. Most head-fiers that have customs consider them greater than universals, but there's a lot of added cost. Impressions, shipping, cost of IEMs, labor, shipping to you. And if your IEMs aren't good the first time, you'll have to send it back. Sorry if I'm being negative about customs, but I think it's noteworthy to remember that the impressions aren't always perfect the first time around

post #3212 of 16802

yeah..... ok, I'll wait till I'm richer. - until then, keep buying old broken discmans on ebay = hifi. :o)

 

I know an FR chart isn't "tell-all", but if there is a -10dB drop at 12kHz I'm pretty sure I could hear that to a degree, whereas the 1964-D survives until 16kHz, it's just an observation on paper. 

 

Regarding customs, optimistically though, I was thinking if I knew what the driver was, like if it was a single BA from the Shure SE210, or dual BA from the CK10/DBA-02, then I'd know I'd be very happy with it, and get to experience a custom at the same time.

post #3213 of 16802

try a good source and a good fit then you'll see what 535 are capable of

post #3214 of 16802

I don't think SE530 lacks clarity - it just doesn't have an artificially added sense of clarity. And boomy? I didn't read Joker's full review, but if he said that, that's just wrong. SE530 is definitely not boomy at all in the low end, unless of course the fit is off. The bass is punchy, very tight and defined. Really high quality with excellent texture and a sense of power and impact at least in the mid/upper bass region, although I think SE530 is strong down to at least 60 Hz, which is plenty enough for most music IMO. I found SE530 excels at instrumental, especially pianos, which sounded just so sweet and lush it melted my heart. And of course the mids are simply superb overall. Anything with vocals shines on the Shures. Voices sound eerily realistic through these phones, but again, only with a good recording and fit. I don't think SE530 is very sensitive to source though - it can sound amazing even out of something like the Clip. I also found SE530 great at imaging - with some well recorded music, I could clearly imagine the performance happening in front of me with great realism. Also, I still haven't hear an IEM with such powerful, explosive dynamics as the SE530. I think FX700 comes close, but isn't quite there maybe because it isn't as balanced as SE530.

 

Here are some reasons why I think SE530 should be rated higher than it is:

 

- It is superior to e-Q7/e-Q5 overall IMO. In fact, in some ways, it simply blows away these two IEMs, namely in imaging and separation. In other ways, it is at least on par IMO. Dynamics are at least as good on the Shures, although I think SE530 is more dynamic, soundstage has better depth, the sound is more refined, there is more micro detail/texture, especially compared to e-Q5, the treble is smoother and more delicate vs. e-Q7 and at least on part with e-Q5 maybe missing only a little bit of extension on the very top - no big deal. the bass on SE530 is similar to e-Q7 in quality and character IMO - it has a similar impact and texture, but also a better sense of tactility/flow. The Ortofons sound a bit rough, I dare say even schematic compared to SE530 which is just more refined, smoother and more effortless overall to these ears.

 

- DBA-02 is rated higher and yet SE530 is clearly the better IEM to these ears by a large margin. The Shures destroy DBA-02 in dynamics and micro detail. SE530 is also more balanced tonally and more natural sounding, whereas DBA-02 is bright and overly sharp by comparison. SE530 is smoother, more refined and subtle, while DBA-02 is much grainier and too dry, almost clinical by comparison. DBA-02 sounded to me like it tried very hard to provide a realistic representation of real performance and somewhat succeeded with a pretty impressive holographic presentation with good recordings. But SE530 sounded like it didn't even have to try - music just flowed through it so naturally and effortlessly and it provided a much more believable, lively and dynamic representation of the original recording than DBA-02 IMO, which just sounded limited in its abilities by comparison.

 

- RE262 is rated higher than SE530 and yet what does it do better? Nothing IMO. But not only does it do nothing better, it also sounds much worse when not amped properly. I have not tried it amped unfortunately, but I highly doubt that amping it will completely transform its sound so that it will suddenly surpass SE530. Unamped RE262 is no match at all for SE530 - bass, mids, highs, soundstage, dynamics all sound very limited on the RE262 unamped vs. SE530 unamped. Even when amped properly, I don't expect RE262 to match SE530 in detail, separation and timbre. I think RE262 is quite colored compared to SE530 and further from the truth.

 

- FX700 is rated quite a bit higher, but to these ears, it's not really better than SE530, just different. In some aspects, like imaging and dynamics, I think SE530 surpasses FX700. In other things, like bass depth, impact and treble, FX700 takes the cake. In most aspects, the are pretty close however. Mids are stellar on both, although different in character/presentation. bass quality is similar. Timbre may be better on FX700, but SE530 is more tonally balanced. Strings and acoustic guitars are better with FX700, but I think vocals and most other instruments are equally impressive on both. Overall, I think that SE530 can sound more realistic than FX700, because it has superior imaging abilities and a deeper, more immersive soundstage

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Pianist - 6/13/11 at 8:31am
post #3215 of 16802

I have never heard the SE530, so won't comment on it. But, just out of curiosity, did you compare all the IEMs side by side against SE530?

 

Of particular interest to me is your take on FX700 vs SE530 in terms of "superior imaging abilities and a deeper, more immersive soundstage". I re-read Joker's review after reading your post and from what he described about FX700 and SE530, I simply don't get that feeling.

post #3216 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

I don't think SE530 lacks clarity - it just doesn't have an artificially added sense of clarity. And boomy? I didn't read Joker's full review, but if he said that, that's just wrong. SE530 is definitely not boomy at all in the low end, unless of course the fit is off. The bass is punchy, very tight and defined. Really high quality with excellent texture and a sense of power and impact at least in the mid/upper bass region, although I think SE530 is strong down to at least 60 Hz, which is plenty enough for most music IMO. I found SE530 excels at instrumental, especially pianos, which sounded just so sweet and lush it melted my heart. And of course the mids are simply superb overall. Anything with vocals shines on the Shures. Voices sound eerily realistic through these phones, but again, only with a good recording and fit. I don't think SE530 is very sensitive to source though - it can sound amazing even out of something like the Clip. I also found SE530 great at imaging - with some well recorded music, I could clearly imagine the performance happening in front of me with great realism. Also, I still haven't hear an IEM with such powerful, explosive dynamics as the SE530. I think FX700 comes close, but isn't quite there maybe because it isn't as balanced as SE530.


Fair enough, but I remember you stating in an earlier post, that during the whole time with your SE530 there were only two occasions when you managed to get the perfect fit that made them sound that way.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

I suppose I can stop sleeping with my eyes open now.

 

Seems like you might have cheered too soon.

post #3217 of 16802

With FX700, there is great depth to the sounds, but imaging is not as realistic as with SE530 IMO. FX700 still gives that "3 blobs in the head" feeling with clear separation between the channels and a "hole" in the middle, whereas SE530 is more layered and fills in the middle better. I think e-Q5 also fills the middle really well, but it does not image as well as SE530 and does not have the separation. there are other IEMs, such as UM3X and SM3 that also have minimal 3 blobs effect, but none I've heard provide the sense of space, dynamics and overall realism that SE530 did. SM3 came close at times, but the dull, recessed treble ruins everything IMO. FX700 comes even closer and with the right tips, it is almost there, but not quite as stunningly real sounding as SE530 was to my ears.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post


Fair enough, but I remember you stating in an earlier post, that during the whole time with your SE530 there were only two occasions when you managed to get the perfect fit that made them sound that way.

 

That's right. And judging from other people's impressions on the Shures, most are even less lucky. frown.gif


Edited by Pianist - 6/13/11 at 10:24am
post #3218 of 16802
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

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


Wait till you try the SE215 frown.gif



Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

I don't think SE530 lacks clarity - it just doesn't have an artificially added sense of clarity. And boomy? I didn't read Joker's full review, but if he said that, that's just wrong. 


Sorry but in that case I'm not reading your post beyond that first line. Since when do we have to defer to Pianist to know what's right and what's wrong?

 

post #3219 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

Sorry but in that case I'm not reading your post beyond that first line. Since when do we have to defer to Pianist to know what's right and what's wrong?

 

 

Well, I know when bass sounds boomy and when it doesn't. SE530 is no ER4 when it comes to bass definition, but it certainly not boomy. Not when compared to a UM3X, e-Q7, RE262 or FX700. In fact, I think SE530 is better composed than UM3X, SM3 and DBA-02 down there.

 

You probably just didn't get a good fit with the SE530, that's all. With some tips, I found them boomy too.


Edited by Pianist - 6/13/11 at 10:47am
post #3220 of 16802

If you guys tried the SE530's with a Rio Karma you would hold the 530's in higher regard.  With the Karma's eq they sound pretty lively, musical and fun (and yes, the treble is right where it belongs).  Even with my iriver H180 the shures can sound pretty darn good, although warmer than when mated with the Karma.   I'd be willing to loan my Karma to the OP if he can get the Shures back into his hands and give them another shot. 

 

I think the OP hit the mark on the 535's.

 

edit:  A big thank you to the OP for taking the time to write this extensive comparison, I love it!


Edited by gloco - 6/13/11 at 10:52am
post #3221 of 16802
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

 

Well, I know when bass sounds boomy and when it doesn't. SE530 is no ER4 when it comes to bass definition, but it certainly not boomy. Not when compared to a UM3X, e-Q7, RE262 or FX700. In fact, I think SE530 is better composed than UM3X, SM3 and DBA-02 down there.



Not the way I hear it, and if I did not get a 'good fit' with the SE530 once in six weeks despite being able to hear low extension down to 20Hz and the top end to ~15.5, there is a problem with the earphone. 

post #3222 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

Not the way I hear it, and if I did not get a 'good fit' with the SE530 once in six weeks despite being able to hear low extension down to 20Hz and the top end to ~15.5, there is a problem with the earphone. 

 

Well, there is definitely a problem with the fit of the SE530 - a huge problem. That's why I will probably never buy them again. The sound is out of this world, but who needs it when they can hear it once in a blue moon, if at all. I guess we should just forget about it. Happy listening. beerchug.gif


Edited by Pianist - 6/13/11 at 10:58am
post #3223 of 16802

Gotta disagree with any fit issues on the SE530, I always got a solid fit with them.  The 535's?  :(  Nope.  (with the olives)

post #3224 of 16802

Thankfully, this discussion is over. I was worried for a moment whether Joker knows how to get a good fit at all rolleyes.gif. I mean after nearly trying 200 IEMs, I thought he'd know by now.


Edited by esanthosh - 6/13/11 at 11:09am
post #3225 of 16802
Thread Starter 

I may have to get a pair of custom tips for each of the 200. Who knows what I've missed. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106)