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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 284

post #4246 of 16802

Sounds like you'd probably like something like the DBA02, B2 or something by Etymotic...but yeah, your description of the GR07 seems about right.  They are pretty great sounding.  Only real flaw to me is a bit of a treble peak that adds a bit of sibilance...but that's not much of a problem if you listen with a lower volume.

 

I've never heard the ADDIEMs before though, so I can't really compare the two.

post #4247 of 16802
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukeskymac View Post

I've been eyeing the GR07's and I realized I don't quite know what my favorite sound signature actually IS like.

 

I originally embraced the ADDIEM's analytical nature due to the extra clarity, but also because I despise big, boomy and texture-less (?) bass, which is so common on lower-end audio and most people seem to love and relate with "good sound" (cough, skullcandy, cough). However, I am nonetheless underwhelmed with its bass. It's like parts of it sound alright, amplitude-wise, at least, and others are very low, and not necessarily just the sub-bass. It's like a bass hump, but that part of the bass that is present doesn't sound natural, maybe that's the "BA bass" people talk about, at least the bad part of it, since DBA-lovers are quick to protect its bass.

 

I started looking for detail, clarity, detail, imaging, and more detail, but that's just because I want something better than the ADDIEMs. After I read how the DBAs trade dynamic range for detail, I realized that maybe much of that should have been micro-detail, and is instead thrown at you. After reading about the GR07's, I found them to be an impressive all-rounder, with punchy and textured bass that doesn't creep up, along with excellent mids and highs, with effortless sound, a jack of all trades, master of none. Except that, compared to the ADDIEMs, they'll truly sound masterful, and more true to the source. Not to mention they seem to be better built and more comfortable.

 

Is that truly the case? Forgive me if I make them sound like TEH PERFECT IEMs, but I want to know if they're what I think they are, and I think the difference between them and the ADDIEMs will be as night and day as the one between the ADDIEMs and my sis' Ink'd buds.


I don't think you'll find anything lacking in the GR07 coming from the ADDIEM. Maybe it's not quite as smooth in the treble but the bass depth and punch should surprise you and you won't be left wanting for clarity or detail. To be honest coming from the ADDIEM even the DBA-02 should have noticeably more bass but since, as you said, you aren't sure of the type of sound you like I'd consider the GR07 (or its rival, the EX600) a good (safer) choice. To be fair there probably is a larger difference stepping up to the ADDIEM from the ink'd but then the ADDIEM is (normally) 6-7x the price of the SK.

 

post #4248 of 16802

The EX600 is not in your multi-review, so I can't quite position it in relation to the other IEMs, but I'm looking at some other posts, such as 3602's review. It's strange really, he seemed to criticize it a lot (the "worst isolation for an IEM ever" and "wind noise" parts made me quite nervous). Can you do a straight comparison between them? Let's not forget that they cost some $30 more. Not that I would object to paying that if it's worth it.

 

Just as I thought I would settle for the GR07, here comes another candidate. Please avoid feeding my curiosity for other IEMs or I think I'll never make a decision. tongue_smile.gif

 

Edit: Seem like Inks prefer the EX600


Edited by lukeskymac - 9/22/11 at 6:10am
post #4249 of 16802
I actually like the GR07 more now mainly because of the bigger lower treble peak of the EX600. They're very close technically though but the GR07 is more ergonomic. My biggest gripe against the GR07 is it's dynamic range.
post #4250 of 16802

Dynamic range again? Is there any IEM that satisfies you on that front?

post #4251 of 16802
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukeskymac View Post

The EX600 is not in your multi-review, so I can't quite position it in relation to the other IEMs, but I'm looking at some other posts, such as 3602's review. It's strange really, he seemed to criticize it a lot (the "worst isolation for an IEM ever" and "wind noise" parts made me quite nervous). Can you do a straight comparison between them? Let's not forget that they cost some $30 more. Not that I would object to paying that if it's worth it.

 

Just as I thought I would settle for the GR07, here comes another candidate. Please avoid feeding my curiosity for other IEMs or I think I'll never make a decision. tongue_smile.gif

 

Edit: Seem like Inks prefer the EX600

 

Outside of sound quality the EX600 is nearly identical to the EX1000 so you can get a good approximation of how it will do. Sound-wise it is very close to the GR07 but unfortunately I can't do extensive A:B at the moment as Inks has my GR07 rolleyes.gif. I did listen to them side by side in the past and had trouble splitting them on technical performance (though I think I like the signature of the GR07 better myself). I felt the EX600 had a touch more mid-bass punch and rolled off earlier, had more elevated treble on the whole, and slightly warmer mids.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by lukeskymac View Post

Dynamic range again? Is there any IEM that satisfies you on that front?


Can't answer for Inks but there are a couple of sets I felt had a noticeable leg up on the GR07 in dynamics - EX1000, FX700, SM3, Miracle

post #4252 of 16802

Now that I've tested the waters and found that my hearing is capable enough to enjoy IEMs, I think I'm ready to take the plunge onto a higher-class IEM(mid-fi I'm assuming). I've bought the MEElecs M9 and later M6 which thoroughly satisfied my ears, but I'm looking for something a bit more better on mids, just as good bass (or at least sufficient and full), and good treble and clarity. Also a better soundstage and better depth. My candidates are the Xears XE200PRO, Shure 215, Silver Bullets, Sunrise IE, NE-700X, the ECCI PR401. I listen to alot of hip hop, R&B, and jazzy,blues, pop(or whatever you consider the Adele/Norah Jones/Sara Bareilles category) alongside with alternative mixed in and Daft Punk somewhere in there. Well enough with the details, which of these do recommend for me IjokerI based what I listen to and prefer in sound?    

post #4253 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

Can't answer for Inks but there are a couple of sets I felt had a noticeable leg up on the GR07 in dynamics - EX1000, FX700, SM3, Miracle


They cost $500, $370, $370 and $900 respectively frown.gif Are there really any IEMs better at this price range?

 


Edited by lukeskymac - 9/22/11 at 12:37pm
post #4254 of 16802

 

Originally Posted by lukeskymac View Post

Dynamic range again? Is there any IEM that satisfies you on that front?

The RE262 is in this price range and have a limitless dynamic range. They will drain the battery of your player though unless an amp is used. The GR07 should be fine though, dynamic range is also very relative to the recordings and even the player being used. So I wouldn't worry about it so much, the GR07 is one of the best all-rounders that's ergonomic in this range. Every IEM has it's flaws, don't let one flaw fool you into thinking it's not for you unless it's an aspect you really value based on vast experience. 


Edited by Inks - 9/22/11 at 12:59pm
post #4255 of 16802

Inks description is spot on, as usual. 

 

By the way, I got my first ever Ortofon's today, the e-Q5 (late comer, I know tongue.gif). They sounded a little treble happy at first, but the Comply T-400's took care of that altogether. Their sound is overall extremely well balanced (at least to my ears), and I honestly can't find any one area of their spectrum I dislike. I hate to sound redundant, but once again, the Zo never ceases to amaze me. The synergy between the two is just awesome, no ifs and buts! On another note, I don't think I've ever worn something quite as comfortable as the e-Q5's, though the CK10 isn't too far behind. Quite impressed with the sound coming out of them, especially considering how tiny they are. They weren't kidding when they said good things come in small packages. The e-Q7 is also headed my way, and I've high expectations for it now that I've heard the e-Q5; though I have a hard time deciding where my preference falls, balanced vs. mid-centric. It's like the CK10 vs. CK100 all over again, both of which I'm quite fond of. smile.gif

post #4256 of 16802
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Artistic View Post

Now that I've tested the waters and found that my hearing is capable enough to enjoy IEMs, I think I'm ready to take the plunge onto a higher-class IEM(mid-fi I'm assuming). I've bought the MEElecs M9 and later M6 which thoroughly satisfied my ears, but I'm looking for something a bit more better on mids, just as good bass (or at least sufficient and full), and good treble and clarity. Also a better soundstage and better depth. My candidates are the Xears XE200PRO, Shure 215, Silver Bullets, Sunrise IE, NE-700X, the ECCI PR401. I listen to alot of hip hop, R&B, and jazzy,blues, pop(or whatever you consider the Adele/Norah Jones/Sara Bareilles category) alongside with alternative mixed in and Daft Punk somewhere in there. Well enough with the details, which of these do recommend for me IjokerI based what I listen to and prefer in sound?    



All of those are good products and should be an upgrade over the M9/M6. If you want bass quantity close to the M9 I would go with the NE-700X or Shure SE215 (or the Beyer DTX101, which I prefer over the nuforces). If you're willing to give up some of that bass quantity - the Sunrise IE.



Quote:
Originally Posted by lukeskymac View Post




They cost $500, $370, $370 and $900 respectively frown.gif Are there really any IEMs better at this price range?

 


Not saying either is a better buy on that basis alone but if we're talking about objective sound quality it's worth mentioning a product's weaknesses in comparison to a higher-tier standard. Not crap like SK Smokin' because that would be a long list but for mid-fi products and up it makes sense.

Forgot about the RE262 as well though I never got the chance to A:B it with the GR07

post #4257 of 16802

really hope to hear someone post a comparison soon. i'm on the verge of getting a gr07 due to its relatively low cost as compared to ex600/dba02 and even my HF5s in my country. if it is really the ultimate winner i will go for it wink.gif


 

post #4258 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 



All of those are good products and should be an upgrade over the M9/M6. If you want bass quantity close to the M9 I would go with the NE-700X or Shure SE215 (or the Beyer DTX101, which I prefer over the nuforces). If you're willing to give up some of that bass quantity - the Sunrise IE.

 

Thanks for the input man. I'm going to do some research on the Shure SE215s, ECCI PR401, and the XE200PROs (since it's on sale right now) before I decide on taking the plunge.
 

 


Edited by Mr Artistic - 9/22/11 at 10:49pm
post #4259 of 16802

Well, if I weren't moving soon and if Brazil's postal service employees weren't in a strike, I would have already ordered the GR07, so I'm sending you all a big "Thank You!" for helping me in this decision.

post #4260 of 16802
Thread Starter 

Added Bowers & Wilkins C5 and Future Sonics Atrio MG7
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

(2A17) Future Sonics Atrio MG7 Pro

Future Sonics Atrio MG7 400x300.jpg
Reviewed Apr 2011

Details: Flagship universal IEM from the pioneer of dynamic customs, Future Sonics
Current Price: $175 from amazon.com (MSRP: $189.99)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 32Ω | Sens: 112 dB | Freq: 18-20k Hz | Cable: 4.2’ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 2.5mm | Preferred tips: stock bi-flanges, Shure Olives
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (4.5/5) – Bi-flange silicone tips (3 sizes), porous foam tips (4 sets in 2 sizes), cleaning tool, and zippered carrying case
Build Quality (4/5) – As with the old MG5 Atrios, the teardrop housings are made of plastic and feature molded rubber strain reliefs and thin, filterless nozzles. The memory wire has been dropped but the cable remains the same - light and flexible but not very thick
Isolation (4/5) – Excellent with any of the stock tips or Shure Olives
Microphonics (4/5) – Low when worn cable-down; nonexistent otherwise
Comfort (4.5/5) –The fit of the Atrios reminds me of the Phonak PFEs. When worn properly, the housings don’t touch the wearer’s ear at all although the bi-flange tips can be a bit intrusive. Thankfully, the memory wire has been dropped so they can now easily be worn cable-down

Sound (8.8/10) – The original Future Sonics Atrios were introduced back in 2007 and quickly rose to fame as some of the best basshead earphones money could buy. Four years and several revisions later, the low end is still the most attention-grabbing aspect of the Atrio sound – deep and powerful, yet controlled and accurate. The bottomless bass extension that made the old Atrio a hit is still very much a selling point of the new one. The bass is a bit forward in the overall signature but manages to be powerful without throwing off the balance. It can be reasonably tame when necessary but can also become dominant and explosive when track calls for it. The lack of a mid-bass hump helps, eliminating the bloat endemic to so many bass-heavy earphones, and the sub-bass emphasis gives the low end good rumble and a tactile feel. The drivers are still not the quickest out there but they don’t lose resolution quickly the way many mid-bassy earphones in the lower tiers do. The difference between the Atrio and lesser bass-heavy earphones such as the Fischer Audio Eterna is obvious – next to the Atrio, the Eterna sounds overly soft and bloated, with noticeably poorer clarity and detail resolution. Even the similarly-priced Sennheiser IE7 lacks control and tightness at the low end next to the Atrio.

The midrange of the Atrio is recessed slightly in comparison to the low end but still impresses with clarity and detail. It’s not quite there up with the HiFiMan RE272 or Sony MDR-EX1000 on either count but competes well with the RE-ZERO and Turbine Pro Coppers. The mids are slightly warm and thick compared to the similarly-priced VSonic GR07 but lack some of the overall refinement and don’t achieve as neutral a tone. They sound smooth but slightly ‘dry’ in character, which contributes to a more crisp and monitor-like sound next to the softer, more lush MTPC and Sennheiser IE7. The treble is boosted in comparison to the old Atrios, which sounded dark and a little murky for my taste. The top end of the new Atrios isn’t laid-back and will not mask issues with the source material. It is a little more edgy than before but no less smooth on the whole than that of the VSonic GR07. Top-end extension is still only moderately good and the overall tone is still just a bit on the dark side but the treble quantity should be sufficient for most listeners without risking violent sibilance and harshness.

The presentation of the MG7 is not particularly impressive for a top-tier earphone but works well enough with the sound signature. The soundstage is relatively well-rounded but width and depth are only average, superseded easily by the spacious soundstage of the Sennheiser IE7 and even the lower-tier FA Eterna (pretty much the only area in which the Eterna can compete with the new Future Sonics). The bass of the Atrio layers well over the rest of the sound and the healthy note thickness makes the thinner-sounding RE-ZERO somewhat less convincing despite its similar soundstage size. The MG7 also images better than the ZERO does, providing a more accurate sense of placement and distance. The brighter VSonic GR07, expectedly, carries better air and sounds spacious and open in ways the Atrio can’t quite match but separation seems improved over the MG5 version. The timbre is not up there with the Sony MDR-EX1000, JVC FX700, or even Monster MD, but then neither is the price. In its tier the Atrio is very competitive – I don’t feel that Sennheiser’s IE-series earphones perform better, for example. A final point to note – as before, the Atrio is not at its most brilliant at low listening volumes but – due to the newfound treble prominence – may now become tiring at extremely high levels as well.

Value (9/10) – Outfitted with the updated MG7 transducers, the latest-gen Future Sonics Atrios manage to preserve the bass-heavy sound signature of the previous iteration while making serious performance gains on the dynamic-driver heavyweights from the likes of Sennheiser and JVC. With no changes made to the exterior save for the disappearance of the memory wire, the MG7 Atrio remains a somewhat unsightly but highly practical earphone with its secure fit, high isolation, and low microphonics. The bass-heavy sound signature, now made slightly more v-shaped with added treble, still offers a surprising blend of fun, dynamic-driver sound and monitor-like accuracy and control. It’s not perfect, but it’s an impressive step forward and one that should make the competition very wary of the low-profile PA-based manufacturer, especially whenever bass quantity and quality are brought up.

Pros: Comfortable, well-isolating, low microphonics, powerful but controlled bass, clean midrange and treble
Cons: Plasticky build; not very pretty; mediocre presentation

 

Big thanks to esanthosh for the MG7 loan!



(2A18) Bowers & Wilkins C5

Bowers & Wilkins C5 400x300.jpg
Reviewed Sep 2011

Details: First in-ear earphone from British hi-fi boutique B&W
Current Price: $180 from amazon.com (MSRP: $179.95)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 32Ω | Sens: 118 dB/V | Freq: 10-20k Hz | Cable: 3.9’ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: generic bi-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down

Accessories (3.5/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (4 sizes), right-angle adapter, airline adapter, and zippered velour carrying pouch
Build Quality (4/5) – The C5 shells are quite large and made entirely out of metal, which gives them an impressive heft. The angled housings and porous filter have the look and feel of quality but unfortunately the same cannot be said for the cable, which has a bit of memory and doesn’t feel all that upmarket. The caps on the end of the ‘memory wire’ section are not glued in place and came off on my pair after a day. Mild driver flex presents itself as well
Isolation (4/5) – Surprisingly good despite the ‘porous filter’ at the rear. Can be made better with aftermarket bi-flanges
Microphonics (4/5) – The earphones have to be worn cord-down but the earloop keeps the microphonics low
Comfort (3.5/5) – Though comfort is a major marketing push for the C5, the earloop design simply won’t work for some ears. The wire is pretty stiff at the top and pushes unpleasantly on the inside of the ear after a couple of hours and the earphones being large and heavy doesn’t help matters. Wearing the C5 over-the-ear is made impossible by the earloop and putting the earphones on correctly – annoyingly - often requires the use of both hands

Sound (7.6/10) – The C5 is Bowers & Wilkins’ second iPhone headset, following in the footsteps of last year’s supraaural P5. Like the P5, the C5 attempts to balance a relatively mainstream sound signature with audio quality that won’t offend the discerning listener. Most noticeable is the emphasized mid-bass – the C5 is a decidedly bass-heavy earphone and offers up tons of power and impact. The low end is not the tightest or the most controlled, lagging behind competitors such as the Sennhesier IE6, nor is it as deep and extended as that of the Future Sonics Atrios. It is a touch slower and thicker than I would have liked, too, giving the C5 a full and fleshed-out sound even next to similarly bass-heavy sets such as the Beyerdynamic DTX 101. Interestingly, both the sound signature and sound quality of the C5 bear remarkable similarity to Beyer’s flagship - the manufacturers clearly did their research on the type of sound consumers find appealing.

The midrange of the C5 is recessed next to the heavy bass – more so than that of the DTX 101, for example – and the low end seems to bleed up more noticeably as a result. The note thickness carries over as well, causing the C5 to sound a bit less clean and open than the DTX 101 and borderline muddy next to the HiFiMan RE-ZERO and VSonic GR07. Clarity and detail retrieval are decent but not on-level with some of the truly hi-fi sets in the price range. The overall tone is slightly warm and the sound remains smooth well into the treble. Harshness and sibilance are nowhere to be found and the overall treble curve is quite inoffensive, dipping off gently at the top. The top end is smooth and relaxed but again lacks the clarity and sparkle of earphones found near the top of the <$100 price bracket. As a result, much like the P5, the C5 falls just a touch on the darker side of neutral for me and lacks some air and transparency.

Also like the P5, the C5 has an average-sized soundstage with good imaging and decent instrument separation. It’s a well-rounded presentation that nevertheless doesn’t offer anything extraordinary among the more high-performing dynamic-driver earphones. The sound is not as open as I would like and positioning precision is not pinpoint-accurate. The somewhat constrained dynamics – an issue with the P5 headphone as well – is one of the limitations to be faulted. One upside of both the signature and presentation of the C5 is how forgiving it is of the contents of an average listener’s iPod. Audiophile-oriented sets such as the HiFiMan RE-ZERO do not take kindly to 128 kbps mp3s but the C5 chugs along just fine. Still, while the B&Ws do perform better than other fashion-forward high-end in-ears such as the Beats by Dre Tour and Munitio Teknines, next to Head-Fi favorites such as the Sony EX600, HiFiMan RE262, and VSonic GR07 their warm and mid-bassy antics leave me quite cold.

Value (6.5/10) – Despite its hefty price tag, the older P5 headphone is a reasonably good value in my book because – sound aside - very few sets can match its combination of portability, build quality, comfort, and isolation. The in-ear market, however, is flooded with sets that can compete with the C5 in every way for a lot less money. Like the P5, the in-ear model treads no new ground whatsoever with its signature, either, sounding dry, colored, and a touch thick. The sound is clearly more consumer than audiophile and while the C5 does surpass mainstream models such as the Beats by Dre Tour and Klipsch Image S4 in fidelity, it seems content with stopping there. I have other complaints as well – the adjustable earloop, while able to provide a secure fit, can be time-consuming to put on and isn’t necessarily comfortable in the long run; the cylindrical remote unit is difficult to operate blindly; and the velour carrying case is monumentally frustrating to use. On the whole, the earphones are beautifully packaged, nice to look at, and surprisingly well-isolating but simply don’t perform as well as I’d have liked for the asking price.

Pros: 2 year warranty; secure fit; fairly inoffensive sound signature
Cons: Would be more comfortable without earloop; frustrating carrying case; sound quality on par with cheaper sets

 


 

 

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