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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 318

post #4756 of 16802

Originally Posted by Hayang View Post

 

For reference:

- I am selling the FA-003s because I walk around with my iPod and they are not really portable, but also because they are a little short of being full-bodied in their bass and midbass.  Their midrange texture is nice and so is their treble.  I heard they sound similar to the DBA-02s.

- I found the Sunrise X-Capes to be very anemic in bass, and they had an okay soundstage but the lack of body made it just sound distant.  I don't remember much about it since I owned it a long time ago.

- The Fischer Audio Eternas were perhaps a tad too much in the bass department.  But I liked that it erred on the side of too much instead of too little.  The bass is looser than I would like.  Also the treble is very rolled off and I miss some sparkle.  The midrange is a little overpowered by the bass too.  The soundstage was pretty nice.

- The JVC-FX67s get the frequency balance somewhat close to what I would like, but they lack detail, control, punch and some sparkle.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

The JVC HA-FX500 comes to mind - definitely bassy, slightly warm, heavy on treble sparkle. Might be a little too sparkly depending on your tolerance but there's not much else I can think of at that level of performance with a more fitting signature. The Audio-Technica CKM99 is up there but it's got many of the same issues and less bass depth than the FX500; the Panasonic HJE900 may be fitting as well but it is difficult to find. 

 

Alternatively, if you'd prefer less sparkle rather than more, there's the Fischer Tandem. Good but not overpowering bass and mids but not much sparkle at all. 

 

Interesting exercise - would be nice if everyone had so many reference points when asking for recommendations. 

 

The JVCs look like a pretty good deal at $50 on ebay (apparently they were $130 before?) so I am leaning toward them, but I am wary since they apparently have an aggressive treble.  I like a good sparkle but I really hate female vocals hissing; that makes me want to immediately put them down.  Are they not quite that much?  

 

I think a better description of what I like is, a flat frequency response until the lower midrange, where there is a lot of warmth, fullness, and extension well into the sub-bass.

 

Also what do you think of the GR07 for my tastes, if something like the XCape, which is said to be "neutral", was very bass-anemic for me?  It's been getting such good reviews so I am very tempted since in the end a just slightly warm, balanced and detailed reproduction is better than a super-severe V-curve or flabby warmth with a lot of treble rolloff for me.  For example the FA-003 (much like the DBA-02?) was great but I just wished it had a few more decibels in the midbass.

 

And would you add any other recommendations if I could afford <$250?


Edited by Hayang - 11/13/11 at 12:25pm
post #4757 of 16802
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by myisk View Post

I was wondering if you've ever tried UE200 or if you know, roughly, how they compare to the earphones you've reviewed. I've only ever used cheap earphones so far, but now I want to get a good pair with decent sound. I love your guide, but I've never tried any of the earphones on the list so I'm still not really sure where to start. I don't really like the sound of the UE200 but they're the only widely available earphones I have so I figured they'd make an okay baseline. Any help at all would be wonderful. Thank you. :)



I have not, sorry. I imagine UE wouldn't make them better than UE350s, though.



Quote:
Originally Posted by controlmajortom View Post

Hey Joker, general thoughts on the UE500? I received mine today and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Mids are slightly recessed and treble is rolled off quite a bit, but the bass and presentation are fantastic for a <70 headphone. Resolution isn't bad either. Wanted to see if your impressions mirrored mine, thanks!


I've already admitted that I like the UE500 better than the old single-armature SuperFi earphones (minus maybe the UE600). It's a very solid set, surprisingly good clarity, space, and bass control. Slight v-shape response. Good enough for the full retail price, very good when it goes on sale. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prazzyp View Post

how are the klipsch s4 in terms of bass? are they better than the sennheiser cx300? because they are what i have now and i want to be able to compare them :) 

 

how are the klipsch s4 also compared to the s3 and monster turbine?

and also the soundmagic e10?

thanks 


Better bass control than CX300, not sure why you would consider moving down to the Sennheisers from the S4. The S3 packages all of the flaws of the S4 with fewer of the strengths. Aside from having good detail and clarity in its price range, I really wouldn't recommend the S3. The E10 is softer-sounding and a lot more spacious, with less peaky treble. Much easier to recommend. The Turbine is less trebly, period. Also warmer and much smoother. I've always like the Turbine better than the S4.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayang View Post

The JVCs look like a pretty good deal at $50 on ebay (apparently they were $130 before?) so I am leaning toward them, but I am wary since they apparently have an aggressive treble.  I like a good sparkle but I really hate female vocals hissing; that makes me want to immediately put them down.  Are they not quite that much?  

 

I think a better description of what I like is, a flat frequency response until the lower midrange, where there is a lot of warmth, fullness, and extension well into the sub-bass.

 

Also what do you think of the GR07 for my tastes, if something like the XCape, which is said to be "neutral", was very bass-anemic for me?  It's been getting such good reviews so I am very tempted since in the end a just slightly warm, balanced and detailed reproduction is better than a super-severe V-curve or flabby warmth with a lot of treble rolloff for me.  For example the FA-003 (much like the DBA-02?) was great but I just wished it had a few more decibels in the midbass.

 

And would you add any other recommendations if I could afford <$250?



$50 FX500s probably not genuine. Should be $150, if not more. Whether the treble is too much for you depends on personal tolerance; I think JVC made great strides in making the FX700 softer and less offensive for most listeners but that's out of your price range. 

 

The GR07 is punchy but it likely won't have the mid-bass you are looking for. Certainly more bass than the Xcape but no mid-bass lift per se. I haven't heard the FA-003 in a long time but I would say they aren't too different in bass quantity. 

 

$250 might make it easier to find an HJE900 but otherwise there's not much to add for that 200-250 range. There's just not much in there.

post #4758 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

$50 FX500s probably not genuine. Should be $150, if not more. Whether the treble is too much for you depends on personal tolerance; I think JVC made great strides in making the FX700 softer and less offensive for most listeners but that's out of your price range. 

 

 

     I'll find out if it's legit on ebay. I have my crafty ways. wink.gif

post #4759 of 16802

It's most likely fake on the above. FX500 have a strict pricing policy in Japan and there aren't any official stores outside of Japan since it's not really meant to be sold overseas. IME, most FX500s are fake on ebay specially from a dealer of any kind. If you find a good deal, it will be for a used pair. 

post #4760 of 16802

Sorry for annoying you: but one last and final question:

 

How does the Brainwavz M2 compare to the Nuforce Ne-700x?

 

 

post #4761 of 16802

I think I will buy the JVC-FXT90s, which are being reviewed very well right now by people who own other good IEMs like the GR07.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/563722/jvc-ha-fxt90-appreciation-thread-user-info-buying-guide-reviews-on-page-1
 

It sounds like it fits my preferences perfectly!

post #4762 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post

It's most likely fake on the above. FX500 have a strict pricing policy in Japan and there aren't any official stores outside of Japan since it's not really meant to be sold overseas. IME, most FX500s are fake on ebay specially from a dealer of any kind. If you find a good deal, it will be for a used pair. 


     Seyo Shop can sell it. Besides, I already emailed the seller and he said that it's legit. He must've bought A LOT of them. Although I wouldn't chance it, but at the same time, his sellers said that it's real. This guy should have more buyers since they are real. The main risk is getting this in 2 weeks or less. If it doesn't happen in 2 weeks or less, then the seller will have very angry customers.

 


Edited by Niyologist - 11/13/11 at 9:23pm
post #4763 of 16802
Thread Starter 

Added j-phonic K2 SP

 

Quote:
(1C13) j-phonic K2 SP

j-phonic K2 SP 400x300.jpg
Reviewed Nov 2011

Details: customizable universal in-ear from a branch of customs manufacturer Sensaphonics
Current Price: $399 from j-phonic.com (MSRP: $399)
Specs: Driver: Dual BA | Imp: 27Ω | Sens: 109 dB | Freq: 20-16k Hz | Cable: varies
Nozzle Size: 2mm | Preferred tips: Comply foams (stock), Shure Olives
Wear Style: Over-the-ear

Accessories (4.5/5) – Comply T100 foam tips (6 sets in 3 sizes), shirt clip, cleaning tool, and Pelican 1010 water resistant carrying case with carabiner
Build Quality (4.5/5) – The housings are made out of plastic but seem to have been built for strength and lightness above all else. Nozzles and cable entry points are reinforced and the cable is smooth and strong, twisted below the beefy y-split and terminated in one of three lengths with either an I-plug or an L-plug. The lightweight ‘memory wire’ section doesn’t have much memory but also doesn’t get in the way
Isolation (4.5/5) – Very high due to the fully-sealed, ergonomic shells and foam tips
Microphonics (5/5) – Nonexistent
Comfort (4.5/5) – The ergonomic shells are slim and very lightweight, reminding me of the lower-end Westone earphones except that the notched nozzle places the eartips further inside the ear canal. The shell may be a little too long for smaller ears but with proper insertion depth it should fit most very comfortably. The soft memory wire works well, unlike what Sony’s EX-series monitors use

Sound (9.4/10) – Billed as a custom monitor in a universal shell, the j-phonic K2 SP is tuned to deliver reference-level sound quality at a more reasonable price and in a more versatile form factor. Its sound differs from conventional stage monitors offered by Westone and Earsonics and slightly less so from flat-response reference sets such as the Etymotic ER4S. The K2 SP is borderline analytical in signature and presentation, and yet its bass offers up power and depth more akin to the dynamic-driver VSonic GR07. The low end effortlessly combines the cleanliness of a TWFK-based earphone with the power of a beefy dedicated bass driver. It is not quite as bassy as the Earsonics SM3 and Westone UM3X, but the low end performs brilliantly overall.

On a technical level there is not much to fault with the lows of the K2 SP – mild sub-bass roll-off aside, it’s got fantastic resolution and articulation, surprisingly realistic note weight, and very good speed. Not only is the low end extremely detailed as a result, it makes some dynamic-driver sets sound underpowered. The bass of the HiFiMan RE272, for example, despite being quick and detailed, simply sounds weak, veiled, and lacking in rumble next to the K2 SP. Compared to the Etymotic ER4S, too, the low end of the K2 SP is significantly deeper, fuller, and more prominent. Of all my current monitors, the dynamic-driver VSonic GR07 is closest to the K2 SP in punch and bass balance, though the softer note presentation makes the GR07 sound a touch fuller, and bassier on some tracks as a result. The K2 is disadvantaged only by the inability to move a whole lot of air – for example it will never sound as fleshed-out and dynamic as the consumer-oriented Sony EX1000 with its 16mm dynamic driver.

The midrange of the K2 SP offers up top-notch clarity and detail, coming across resolving and controlled but at the same time very crisp and edgy. The notes are not smoothed out in the least, causing the j-phonics to sound a bit raw and dry next to the HiFiMan RE272 and ATH-CK10. The clarity keeps up with the ATH-CK10 and ER4S but the note weight of the K2 makes the other analytical earphones sound lean, and yet there is still enough crispness to make sets like the ACS T15 and VSonic GR07 sound slightly fuzzy in comparison. Balance-wise, the midrange of the K2 SP is a touch forward – more present than that of the CK10, for example – and picks up a little towards the top, in contrast to the CK10’s flatter mids. As a result, the K2 sounds a touch brighter up until the treble peakiness of the CK10 comes into play.

The treble of the j-phonics is sparkly and extended, not lacking in emphasis by any means but flatter than that of the CK10. It is clean and clear, never getting smeared, but also integrates into the soundscape better than the slightly splashy, hot highs of the CK10. The K2 is not a forgiving earphone, however, and will point out any flaws in the equipment chain or original recording. Its aggressive nature also will not stop it sounding too clinical for some listeners, and it’s worth noting that it only performs at its best with foam tips, such as the included Complys.

The presentation is perhaps the most underwhelming part of the K2’s sound. The soundstage is very slightly above average in size – hardly congested, but far from spacious. It is well-rounded and engaging but simply doesn’t sound as open and airy as the Sony EX1000, HiFiMan RE272, or even VSonic GR07. Instrument separation, however, is easily on the studio monitor level and the K2 can almost match the imaging of the CK10. It sounds more layered than the Ety ER4S but just isn’t for those expecting an IE8 or EX1000-like headstage. Then again, I don’t see why reference earphones should be expected to have the presentation of a consumer-class earphone. Another reason why the K2 SP isn’t a great pick-up-and-go consumer earphone – it’s got a tendency to pick up hiss and electronic noise so don’t expect it to mesh well with the average smartphone or laptop. A solid audio chain or at the very least a decent dedicated audio player or external DAC will make the j-phonics shine.

Value (8.5/10) – The K2 SP is a purpose-built reference monitor and works wonderfully in that respect. It is solidly constructed, ergonomic, and very user-friendly – exactly what an audio professional would want from a universal in-ear monitor. The sound it produces is clear, detailed, and well-separated, with excellent presence across the spectrum. It is very well-rounded technically but the signature will be far from ideal for many listeners. Those looking for warm and organic, or airy and open can pretty much forget about the K2. It sounds a bit cold and bright compared to stage monitors from Westone and Earsonics, as well as ‘concentrated’ – though not congested – due to a slightly aggressive presentation and average headstage size. Non-analytical listeners might find it a bit lifeless for music, which presumably is what the alternative MX tuning was designed to cover. The K2’s requiring a clean audio source also bears repeating in this age of staticky smartphones and noisy computer audio. That said, those who have their audio chain figured out and are after a reference earphone will be hard pressed to do better than the K2 in any respect.

Pros: Comfortable, well-built, highly isolating; easily one of the best reference earphones on the market; several customization options
Cons: Not well-suited for casual listeners

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StereoNoodles View Post

Sorry for annoying you: but one last and final question:

 

How does the Brainwavz M2 compare to the Nuforce Ne-700x?


The NE-700X is bassier, the M2 is more mid-forward and more liquid. There should be a number of references to the M2 in the NE-700X review in this thread.

post #4764 of 16802
Originally Posted by Niyologist View Post


     Seyo Shop can sell it. Besides, I already emailed the seller and he said that it's legit. He must've bought A LOT of them. Although I wouldn't chance it, but at the same time, his sellers said that it's real. This guy should have more buyers since they are real. The main risk is getting this in 2 weeks or less. If it doesn't happen in 2 weeks or less, then the seller will have very angry customers.

 

Who's the seller? A lot of them say they're legit but send fakes anyways based on user experiences, remain skeptical. Yes Seyo sells it but they pretty much forward from Japan, no official sellers outside of Japan. Could be right, but do more research to make sure. 
 

Interesting product in the K2. Monitors are quite the products. The Westone UM series are certainly stage monitors as the sounds is colored in a way to reduce fatigue and create a surround kind of feeling with a lack of forward projection (well illustrated by James444). Then you have the studio monitors but what is sometimes overlooked is the compensations IEMs/headphones need, IEM makers need to compensate for bypassing the pinna. It's not an exact science but ideally a small hump in the lower regions is ideal, though the amount would be subjective (IMO the SE530/EQ-7 and Q-Jays sound very realistic in amount here). Then the higher mids/lower treble are problematic as there is an increased gain there that pretty much requires a dip for the IEMs due to the increase gain. In the higher treble lots of resonant issues reside going up and too much emphasis can overlook the fact that filtering is needed since the IEMs are so close to the ear. Getting the most realistic lower/higher treble is perhaps the hardest feat. My worry about so called "flat" IEMs is their lack of compensation which makes them sound artificially forward in details and somewhat treble lenient. Like reference speakers, imo reference flat (not textbook flat) IEMs would be pretty much midrange focused with the a pinch of body coming from the lower regions and without bringing in harmonics and high frequency details in the high regions too forward with a natural smoothness.

 

Wonder what approach J-Phonic took with these in the high regions, lots of things about it look promising. Monitors like the 7550 and GR07 seem to be taking some compensation in mind. I would say that sometimes IEMs that don't have the monitor marketing get the sound quite right like the PFE, SE530/5 and EQ5. SM3 sounds like a stage monitor but I don't think I've seen it marketed as such. I will disagree on the 535's approach in being solely a consumer product, I think it was tuned based with compensation in mind for professinals. 


Edited by Inks - 11/13/11 at 11:39pm
post #4765 of 16802

Wow! Thanks for that K2 SP review chief!

 

post #4766 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post

Who's the seller? A lot of them say they're legit but send fakes anyways based on user experiences, remain skeptical. Yes Seyo sells it but they pretty much forward from Japan, no official sellers outside of Japan. 
 

 


     Here's the seller:

 

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/JVC-Victor-HP-FX500-HA-FX500-Wood-In-Ear-Headphones-/270850912396?pt=Other_MP3_Player_Accessories&hash=item3f0ff8f08c

post #4767 of 16802

Usually fakes don't come with a case, that's a deal-breaker. What's even worse is the fact that the picture used is an obvious fake, the finish is nothing like that.  I will transfer any more questions to the FX500 thread though, not really suiting here. 


Edited by Inks - 11/13/11 at 10:36pm
post #4768 of 16802
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niyologist View Post


     Seyo Shop can sell it. Besides, I already emailed the seller and he said that it's legit. He must've bought A LOT of them. Although I wouldn't chance it, but at the same time, his sellers said that it's real. This guy should have more buyers since they are real. The main risk is getting this in 2 weeks or less. If it doesn't happen in 2 weeks or less, then the seller will have very angry customers.

 


There's a surprise. I would put the chance of them being real at <1%.

 

post #4769 of 16802

As always, thank you ever so kindly for the anticipated, excellent read/review. smile.gif As you know, I happened to hear the K2 in the very same regards, and I think you absolutely nailed it with the following statements:

Quote:
The K2 SP is a purpose-built reference monitor and works wonderfully in that respect.
Quote:
It is very well-rounded technically but the signature will be far from ideal for many listeners.

beerchug.gif

post #4770 of 16802

nice one joker

now we're waiting for the MX version of j-phonic review biggrin.gif


Edited by kanuka - 11/13/11 at 11:32pm
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