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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 336

post #5026 of 16802
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

And I'm happy to report I think I've finally found something I can live with.  I'm not anointing it but I'm not going b-itch either, and I think that constitutes 'happiness' as an audiophile.  Reveling in the music.


Sounds good to me wink.gif

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Selenium View Post

I was just joking...Joker.triportsad.gif


So was monoglycer, I presume

post #5027 of 16802

Joker,

 

What do have more dynamic range: CK10 or SM3?

post #5028 of 16802

ljokerl, because I cant make up my mind on anything, same question as before but with different phones, which of the three have the best combination of bass and clarity? original DDMs, basic Monster Turbines, or TF10?

post #5029 of 16802

joker, have you thought about reviewing JVC HA-FXT90?

 

I keep hearing great things about sound, but need to know about isolation, comfort and durability. I'm torn between these and the GR07's

post #5030 of 16802

Yes, review FXT90 :)

post #5031 of 16802

joker, a brief impression on FXT90 would be appreciated.

What time should we expect one? popcorn.gif

post #5032 of 16802
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bola 7 View Post

Joker,

 

What do have more dynamic range: CK10 or SM3?


SM3, but not by a huge margin

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by onebandonesound View Post

ljokerl, because I cant make up my mind on anything, same question as before but with different phones, which of the three have the best combination of bass and clarity? original DDMs, basic Monster Turbines, or TF10?


The TF10 has better clarity than either of the others but at the expense of bass.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Painful Chafe View Post

joker, have you thought about reviewing JVC HA-FXT90?

 

I keep hearing great things about sound, but need to know about isolation, comfort and durability. I'm torn between these and the GR07's

 

I've had them for about a day. I like the comfort so far - I was expecting worse. Definitely more comfortable than Fischer's Tandems. Isolation is about average, GR07 isolates a bit better especially with the foamies. Build quality is good - JVC always gets it right with the higher-end stuff.

 

Sound impressions will be reserved for full review - I haven't done any comparative listening and probably won't get to it for a while. 
 

 

post #5033 of 16802

Hey Joker, where would you place the TF10s soundstage/imaging compared to the rest of the headphones you've tried?

post #5034 of 16802

This thread might as well turn into a TF-10 thread.  confused.gif

post #5035 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post


I think the DBA's rock with Rock!  Rush is amazing on DBA's unless you have a basslight fit.

 

Had only a short listen to the RE272 but more laid back/relaxed Classical music would seem best for them I'd say.


Thanks. Piques my interest more now.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

I think for a more aggressive sound an Ety or a B2/DBA-02 would compliment the RE272, as long as you're not looking for a radically different balance. 


Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks.

 

post #5036 of 16802
Thread Starter 

Added Fischer Audio Ceramique and SBA-03

 

 

Quote:
(3A62) Fischer Audio Ceramique

Fischer Audio Ceramique 400x300.jpg
Reviewed Dec 2011

Details: Oversize ceramic in-ear
Current Price: $57 from gd-audiobase.com (MSRP: $57)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 99 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 4.1' I-plug
Nozzle Size: 8mm | Preferred tips: MEElec CC51 single-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down

Accessories (2/5) - Single-flange silicone tips (2 sets), cord wrap, and small leatherette carrying pouch
Build Quality (3/5) - The hefty ceramic shells and metal driver enclosures are solid but for an earphone that weighs as much as the Ceramique the cable thickness is disappointing. The cord is reminiscent of stock Apple earbuds, just more rubbery. The lack of strain reliefs on the cord is cause for concern
Isolation (4/5) - Above average with well-sealing tips (not included)
Microphonics (3.5/5) - Fairly average in the thin, rubbery cable; over-the-ear wear is difficult
Comfort (2/5) - Large, heavy housings are problematic, as are the wide nozzle and single size of hard rubber eartips. Getting a seal proved impossible with stock tips and some may not be able to fit the Ceramique at all. Physical activity is out of the question - the earphones are easily dislodged by their own weight

Sound (7.9/10) - Despite its significant ergonomic shortfalls, the sound of the Ceramique is impressive, provided a seal can be maintained. Since stock Ceramique tips won't seal for me, this review was done using tips from MEElec's ceramic earphone, the CC51, which will fit the Ceramique without too much trouble. As expected, a poorly-sealed Ceramique sounds bright and lacking in bass. A properly sealed one is much more balanced, with well-measured bass response and prominent treble. The bass is soft and mellow - compared to the more v-shaped CC51, the Ceramique is less forward and less punchy at the bottom end but still manages slightly better bass depth. It also avoids the mildly mid-recessed profile of the CC51 but yields to the MEElecs in control and dynamics.

Mids are a definite strength of the Ceramique - balanced well with the low end they are slightly warm and very smooth. While the midrange is not recessed, the Ceramique is a laid-back earphone overall and those who prefer an intimate vocal presentation or in-your-face guitar aggression will want to give it a pass. The mids are clean, liquid, and well-detailed, reminding me more of the Spider Realvoice than the CC51. The treble transition is smooth but, in contrast to the pricier Tandem, the Ceramique loses no emphasis at the top. Treble extension is good but the top end is not too high on sparkle - the CC51 again shows off its comparatively v-shaped nature with more sparkly treble that is also crisper and edgier. For its livelier sound, the CC51 is slightly more fatiguing than the Ceramique.

The presentation of the Ceramique suits the balanced signature nicely - the soundstage is spacious, with decent width and depth, and good clarity and detail levels work towards a clean, nicely separated sound. The earphone tends to be quite laid-back on the whole and doesn't deliver great imaging, especially when a track calls for intimacy, partly due to the mediocre dynamics. Compared to the CC51, the Ceramique sounds distant at times but also easily wins in terms of sheer soundstage size.

Value (6.5/10) - The Ceramique is a textbook lesson in form over function. While it combines balanced sound and a spacious presentation with smooth, polished looks, it makes too many usability sacrifices to be a viable alternative to the established segment leaders. The biggest issue is that the large, heavy housings are tricky to fit and even more difficult to keep in place. Add sub-par eartips in only one size and thin cables with no strain reliefs and it becomes clear that some of the sound quality and aesthetics probably should have been sacrificed for better usability.

Pros: Solid sonic characteristics
Cons: One size does not fit all; large and heavy; thin cable lacks strain relief

 

 

 

 

Quote:
(2B11) Fischer Audio SBA-03

 

 

Fischer Audio SBA-03 400x300.jpg

Reviewed Dec 2011

 

Details: BA-based IEM second to the DBA-02 in Fischer's monitor lineup   

Current Price: $129 from gd-audiobase.com (MSRP: $129)

Specs: Driver: BA | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 106 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 4.1' I-plug

Nozzle Size: 4mm | Preferred tips: MEElec triple-flanges

Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

 

Accessories (2.5/5) - Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes), cord wrap, and soft carrying pouch

Build Quality (3.5/5) - The shiny plastic housings seem nicely-made and feature metal nozzle grilles and long, flexible strain reliefs on housing entry. The cable is of below-average thickness and lacks a cinch, which may make over-the-ear wear more difficult for some

Isolation (4/5) - Above average and even better with aftermarket eartips

Microphonics (3.5/5) - Moderate when worn cable-down; very low otherwise

Comfort (4/5) - Extremely lightweight housings with slightly angled nozzles provide excellent ergonomics. The cable is less excellent, however, and a shirt clip or cable cinch should have been included

 

Sound (8.7/10) - Until just a few years ago, the majority of single balanced armature earphones fell victim to shortfalls in frequency range and performance at the limits when compared to their dual- and triple-driver counterparts. Advertising a mid-tier single-BA earphone meant disclaimers such as 'full range' were an absolute necessity. This perception has since been seriously challenged by the reasonably-priced but extremely capable single-BA models released by Etymotic Research, Phonak, and now - Fischer Audio. 

 

The SBA-03 is an impressive all-around performer, not just ‘for a single BA’ or ‘at its price point’, but overall. The bass is fast and resolving, as expected from a BA-based earphone, but it is also surprisingly punchy, even aggressive at times. Impact is greater than with the Etymotic ER-4S and ACS T15 but not quite a match for the VSonic GR07 or Fischer's own dual-dynamic Tandem. It has good depth and body but is also tight and controlled, with great clarity and good detail, though the latter lags slightly behind the pricier Ety ER-4S and ACS T15, partly due to the average dynamics and aggressive nature of the SBA-03.

 

The midrange is slightly forward but still balances out very well with the punchy low end. Detail level is good - not quite as impressive as with the Etymotic HF5, but then the SBA-03 doesn't sound as lean, either. It is still a crisp, very slightly dry earphone with good resolution and a fairly neutral tone. The aggression from the bass carries over - the midrange of the SBA-03 is anything but laid-back. Vocals are very prominent and guitars have good bite. Compared to the Tandem and VSonic GR07, the SBA-03 is a bit less smooth and much less full-bodied but also more raw and transparent, with no sense of distancing or veiling between the listener and the music.

 

The lower treble of the SBA-03 is reasonably prominent but not too peaky. With the wrong tips it can be a touch splashy but with a deep seal there is just some sparkle. Gentle roll-off at the top completes the picture. Admittedly, the Etymotic HF5 is cleaner and again slightly more detailed in the treble but the two earphones have opposing profiles for a pair of single BAs, with the SBA-03 emphasizing the bass and midrange more so than (much of) the treble region.

 

The presentation of the SBA-03 is competent but not flawless  Most noticeable when switching over from a higher-end monitor such as the GR07 or ACS T15 is the in-the-head positioning of all the sonic cues. The SBA-03 does have very nice instrument separation and accurate positioning across its stage but the sheer expanse of earphones such as the GR07, ACS T15, Sony EX600, or JVC FXT90 is just not there. The soundstage of the SBA-03 is average or even slightly above-average in size but the earphone achieves neither the air nor the ambience of the pricier monitors in my collection. 

 

One last point worth noting - the SBA-03 is a very efficient earphone with high sensitivity and low impedance. Powerful sources such as the Cube C30 can be too loud even on the lowest volume settings and computers and other sources with a less-than-black background or high output impedance will be noisy. For a set of general-purpose computer earphones the similarly-priced Tandem does a much better job - it is less sensitive and more forgiving.

 

Value (8.5/10) - The SBA-03 is a fantastic single-BA all-rounder and my second favorite IEM in Fischer's lineup behind the DBA-02. When a mid-level earphone performs as well as the SBA-03 does, it draws comparisons with top-tier earphones, as in the review above, and those rarely play in its favor. The SBA-03, however, holds its own in many ways against higher-end products from the likes of JVC, ACS, and VSonic. Aside from the smallish headstage and average dynamics, the SBA-03 is easily a top-tier performer. What detracts from its value are the surrounding bits – the cable, which is stringy and microphonic, and the small selection of tips, none of which showcase what the SBA-03 is really capable of. Those willing to overlook these minor flaws will find a direct competitor to the Ety HF5 and Phonak PFE with more emphasis on the bass and midrange and less on the top end – a versatile signature and a great introduction to higher-end BAs.

 

Pros: Wonderfully versatile BA sound

Cons: Mediocre cable, sub-optimal stock tips

 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by controlmajortom View Post

Hey Joker, where would you place the TF10s soundstage/imaging compared to the rest of the headphones you've tried?


Among high-end ones, soundstaging (size) would be well above average and imaging slightly above average. The TF10 is not the most 3-D sounding thing but it has decent layering and good separation.


Edited by ljokerl - 12/5/11 at 12:31am
post #5037 of 16802

Thanks! The TF10s SS is what really impressed me the most. It's stopped me from considering budget-fi IEMs because I know they won't get any headtime next to the TF10s.

 

The SBA-01 looks interesting, but I'm hesitant to try any FA IEM because I haven't seen one IEM from them that doesn't seem to have shoddy build quality.

post #5038 of 16802

Nice SBA03 review. It's surely one of the better single BAs out there, just needs a better cable.

post #5039 of 16802

Hey Joker great job with the extensive reviews you have on all these different kinds of headphones. I'm looking to buy a new pair of IEMs and having a hard time choosing one. My price range is $200-$300 and I listen to mostly Rap/Hip Hop/Techno/Trance/Rock. Isolation is pretty important to me and I would rather have the hang down style than the around the ear look. Are there any that you can recommend me? Any help would be great thanks!

post #5040 of 16802

Did you hear back? re: IE and Xcited
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post


I'm waiting for Sunrise to get back to me regarding what has been done about the build quality of these products

 

 

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