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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 377

post #5641 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post


Joe it, that's why some people use custom IEM's at home, and open-air earbuds in public.
 

I am thinking of doing the same, it seems like an ideal setup.

 

 


Excuse me, perhaps i expressed myself badly. My bad english does not help.frown.gif

 

I wanted to say that in situations in which need a good isolation, when playing an instrument, and there are other musicians that they do the same thing, it produces music, using headphones as monitor,i think we need to approach the 'custom'.

 

For listening, I do not think that we need the 'custom', and i am glad that there is a new approach as FI-BA-SS and K3003. smile.gif

 

post #5642 of 16802

Quote:

Originally Posted by joe it View Post

For listening, I do not think that we need the 'custom', and i am glad that there is a new approach as FI-BA-SS and K3003. smile.gif

 

Ditto. I'd personally love to see more and more universals go toe to toe against high end customs, granted the performance delivers of course. For one, it's a pain in the booty to have to sell customs, given the cost of impressions + reshell, and not to mention the likelihood of a different signature after reshelling, as compared to the originally intended sound signature as was tuned by the original custom manufacturer. Nevertheless, I'm not saying it'd be easy to sell a $1000+ universal, but it'd require a hell of a lot less effort than purchasing a second hand custom. smile.gif

 

If ever the K3003 is offered at a discounted price, I'd bite.

post #5643 of 16802
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by roker View Post



I'm not a huge fan of Shure.  If I did go with a more balanced but not etymotic flat neutral sound, would there be a better option?  In fact, I'm willing to sacrifice my tlt toward warmth in the name of comfort and durability.

 



Forgot to mention the HiSound Crystals-  they might suit your needs as well and do have a slight tilt towards warmth. Otherwise, you might be better off with another 022 or with moving up a notch to an FXT90 or something.


 

post #5644 of 16802
Thread Starter 

Alright, my personal listening impressions from CES. I've broken them up into three categories. These are based on quick impressions but I do think I got a feel for what each set had to offer. Used for comparisons were the UM Miracle and VSonic GR07.

 

Brand

Model (Price)

Type

Notes

Sets I was impressed by and would have loved to write a full review of

AKG / Harman

K3003 ($1300)

Universal IEM

(Dual armature, single dynamic)

Very musical yet quite neutral (on the ‘reference’ setting), great clarity and resolution. Surprisingly small and comfortable

K550 ($300)

Closed, circumaural

Flat and pretty neutral, but punchy; good resolution, comfortable, excellent build quality, relatively easy to drive

K495 NC ($350)

Closed, supraaural, noise-cancelling

Very comfortable, excellent noise-canceling circuit, fun, reasonably clear sound with ANC off

Altec Lansing

A1 ($499), A2 ($799), A3 ($999)

Custom IEM demo
(single, dual, triple armature)

Silicone customs from ACS. Demo pairs were all impressive in their own right. A3 sounded flatter than Miracle and very smooth, with good reach and note thickness

Audiofly

AF78 ($200)

Universal IEM

(single armature, single dynamic)

Similar bass to AF56 but better treble extension, clarity, and quality. Bit of bleed in the midrange. Good fit & nice design

Etymotic Reseach

EtyKids ($50)

Universal IEM

(dynamic)

Surprisingly resolving and very enjoyable overall, esp. for the price. 300ohm impedance limits volume.

House of Marley

Exodus ($150)

Closed, supraaural

Clear, well-balanced, good detail, comfortable

Skullcandy

Mix Master Mike ($300)

Closed, circumaural

Easily the best thing I’ve heard from Skullcandy. Rich feature set, nice design and isolation, balanced sound with a bump in the bass, very clean and enjoyable. Would be happier at $200 price point

Sony

XBA-1 ($80)

Universal IEM (single armature)

Great clarity, well-balanced, and seems to be priced very well

Sets I was not unimpressed by but would need more time to evaluate properly

Audiofly

AF56 ($100)

Universal IEM (dynamic)

Bass-heavy but not terribly muddy. Good fit & comfort

Bell’o Digital

BDH-something ($25)

Universal IEM

Quite clear and reasonably balanced for an entry-level set. Bass was flabby but for $25 I’d give it another try

House of Marley

Zion ($100)

Universal IEM

(dynamic)

Bassy and a bit boomy but not unpleasant

Name unknown ($200)

Universal IEM

(dynamic)

Bit more balanced than Zion and very nice slim form factor

Stir it up ($200)

Closed, supraaural

Less controlled & clear than cheaper Exodus

Redemption Song ($200)

Closed, supraaural

Less controlled & clear than cheaper Exodus

Name unknown (price unknown)

Closed, circumaural

Unreleased circumaural headphone. Nice construction and very comfortable. Tuning not finalized; did not sound as good as Exodus

Moshi

Clarus ($200)

Universal IEM

(dual dynamic)

Dual dynamic (7+15mm) sport-style canalphone. One of very few consumer-class earphones at CES that was not bass-heavy. Pretty good balance and clarity but some of it comes from uneven treble. Feels quite big when worn.

Scosche

RH1056m ($230)

Closed, circumaural

Surprisingly balanced for a Beats clone. Clean, punchy bass and smooth all around

Sony

XBA-4 ($350)

Universal IEM

(quad armature)

Quite bass-heavy for a high-end armature, seemed to have more treble unevenness compared to XBA-1

Westone

ES5 ($950)

Custom IEM demo

(5x armature)

Surprisingly bassy even next to UM Miracle. Great resolution but the tone seemed a little off as a result of the bass boost. Would really need more than 10 minutes to evaluate properly.

Sets I was not impressed by

House of Marley

TTR Destiny ($300)

Closed, circumaural, noise-cancelling

Muddy and congested. Only works with ANC on

Logic3 / Ferrari

R300 ($300)

Closed, circumaural, noise-cancelling

Muddy and boomy, top-end roll-off, poor clarity. Only works with ANC on

Scosche

IEM856m ($250)

Universal IEM

(single armature, single dynamic)

Hybrid (BA+dynamic) IEM. Sibilant, harsh, and boomy. Was told it only sounds good with an iPhone and the Scosche EQ app

RH656md ($130)

Closed, supraaural

New on-ear headphones. Sounded boomy and flat

Skullcandy

Aviator ($150)

Closed, circumaural

Crap all around

 

 

 

Just for fun and because I took notes on it, I’ve compiled a list of the quality of the staff at each booth. This in no way says anything about a particular company – just trivial observations on my part. I did try to find the right person to talk to at each booth.

 

Staff both very knowledgeable and very helpful:

 

AKG / Harman

Altec Lansing

Etymotic Research

Sony

 

Staff helpful but not well-versed in Audio:

 

Audiofly

Bell’o

House of Marley

Moshi

Scosche

Skullcandy

Westone

 

Staff not knowledgeable and not particularly friendly/helpful

 

Logic3/Ferrari

Sennheiser

TDK/Imation

 

post #5645 of 16802

Might I ask what were you doing at CES?

post #5646 of 16802
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbamg View Post

Might I ask what were you doing at CES?



Clearly I was doing janitorial work

post #5647 of 16802

Nice CES impressions! They are coming few and far between this year it seems.

post #5648 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post


 



Clearly I was doing janitorial work



He did it for the lolz

post #5649 of 16802

As brief as it may have been, did you find the K3003's clarity and resolution on par with that of the Miracle's? blink.gif

post #5650 of 16802

I'd love to checkout the Audiofly AF78 with the BA/dynamic combo, I've really wanted to get a pair like that for awhile now.

post #5651 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

Staff both very knowledgeable and very helpful:

 

AKG / Harman

Altec Lansing

Etymotic Research

Sony

 

Staff helpful but not well-versed in Audio:

 

Audiofly

Bell’o

House of Marley

Moshi

Scosche

Skullcandy

Westone

 

Staff not knowledgeable and not particularly friendly/helpful

 

Logic3/Ferrari

Sennheiser

TDK/Imation

 


Did you get to check out the Audio-Technica booth?  Too bad they aren't bringing much IEMs in the $100~300 range to US.  I think the only one they got is CKS77 for msrp $120.  They don't even have CKS90, which got a lot of shelf spaces in Japan.

 

Some tidbits I learned during the show:

  • Westone 4R is 1~2dB tighter quality-controlled than the plain Westone 4.
  • TDK/Imation staff says BA200 is available at Amazon.  The last time I checked, that ain't true.
  • Scosche does not mean the japanese word "sukoshi". It's actually a combination of Nova Scotia (where the owner is from) and Porsche.
  • Etymotic HF series's naming goes like this: 2 originally meant "squared", 3 refers the 3 buttons on the control, 5 refers to the 5th generation IEM.
  • Sennheiser HD700 doesn't have a firm release date yet.
  • Meelec S6 follows M6's design, and is sweat-proof.  The PAE1 bass/treble control module (amp?) unfortunately wasn't on display.
  • Monster had a invitation-only section (I am not invited, duh) that required signing non-disclosure agreement.  I wonder if they have even more interesting headphone products coming up soon, especially now that Beats and Monster are separating their ways.
  • Comply's booth had Sony's XB500 & XB700 - I think those headphones are using Comply's foam.  Forgot to ask for confirmation.
  • Parrot's Zik bluetooth touch-activated headphone is interesting.  Has active noise canceling, and works as wired headphone too.
  • Nokia Purity headphone (by Monster) didn't sound bassy at all, but it might've been the Lumia 800 as DAP or the loud noise at the show floor.
  • Klipsch Mode's noise canceling didn't sound too effective, but it could've been just because the type of noise at the show.
  • I had some connection issue with Hifiman's demo unit (DAP and HE400? not sure), I wonder if that's a common issue.

 

 

Surprised by your "Crap all around" comment on Skullcandy Aviator, considering the praises it has gotten here at head-fi.


Edited by jjmai - 1/14/12 at 6:57pm
post #5652 of 16802

Interesting little details; boo on the second bullet point --- the BA200 is a great sounding little thing.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjmai View Post

Some tidbits I learned during the show:

  • Westone 4R is 1~2dB tighter quality-controlled than the plain Westone 4.
  • TDK/Imation staff says BA200 is available at Amazon.  The last time I checked, that ain't true.
  • Scosche does not mean the japanese word "sukoshi". It's actually a combination of Nova Scotia (where the owner is from) and Porsche.
  • Etymotic HF series's naming goes like this: 2 originally meant "squared", 3 refers the 3 buttons on the control, 5 refers to the 5th generation IEM.
  • Sennheiser HD700 doesn't have a firm release date yet.
  • Meelec S6 follows M6's design, and is sweat-proof.  The PAE1 bass/treble control module (amp?) unfortunately wasn't on display.
  • Monster had a invitation-only section (I am not invited, duh) that required signing non-disclosure agreement.  I wonder if they have even more interesting headphone products coming up soon, especially now that Beats and Monster are separating their ways.
  • Comply's booth had Sony's XB500 & XB700 - I think those headphones are using Comply's foam.  Forgot to ask for confirmation.
  • Parrot's Zik bluetooth touch-activated headphone is interesting.  Has active noise canceling, and works as wired headphone too.


 

post #5653 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

Staff both very knowledgeable and very helpful:

 

AKG / Harman

Altec Lansing

Etymotic Research

Sony

 

Staff helpful but not well-versed in Audio:

 

Audiofly

Bell’o

House of Marley

Moshi

Scosche

Skullcandy

Westone

 

Staff not knowledgeable and not particularly friendly/helpful

 

Logic3/Ferrari

Sennheiser

TDK/Imation

Not surprised by those on the top, but I expected Westone to be up there. Very surprised Sennheiser is at the bottom. 

 

post #5654 of 16802
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by i2ehan View Post

As brief as it may have been, did you find the K3003's clarity and resolution on par with that of the Miracle's? blink.gif


The K3003 wasn't on display but they would take you to an audition room if you asked for it so I got a nice sit-down listen. I would say clarity and resolution are its strengths, very close to the Miracle if not just as good. It wasn't quite as smooth as the Miracle and a bit less 3-d and enveloping in presentation but I would say it's probably the best universal I've heard.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by jiff View Post

I'd love to checkout the Audiofly AF78 with the BA/dynamic combo, I've really wanted to get a pair like that for awhile now.


It's a good sound signature, seemed noticeably better to my ears that Scosche's similar setup mostly due to smoother, more natural treble and less mid-bass bloat. The form factor seems pretty well-thought-out as well. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by jjmai View Post


Did you get to check out the Audio-Technica booth?  Too bad they aren't bringing much IEMs in the $100~300 range to US.  I think the only one they got is CKS77 for msrp $120.  They don't even have CKS90, which got a lot of shelf spaces in Japan.

 

Some tidbits I learned during the show:

  • Westone 4R is 1~2dB tighter quality-controlled than the plain Westone 4.
  • TDK/Imation staff says BA200 is available at Amazon.  The last time I checked, that ain't true.
  • Scosche does not mean the japanese word "sukoshi". It's actually a combination of Nova Scotia (where the owner is from) and Porsche.
  • Etymotic HF series's naming goes like this: 2 originally meant "squared", 3 refers the 3 buttons on the control, 5 refers to the 5th generation IEM.
  • Sennheiser HD700 doesn't have a firm release date yet.
  • Meelec S6 follows M6's design, and is sweat-proof.  The PAE1 bass/treble control module (amp?) unfortunately wasn't on display.
  • Monster had a invitation-only section (I am not invited, duh) that required signing non-disclosure agreement.  I wonder if they have even more interesting headphone products coming up soon, especially now that Beats and Monster are separating their ways.
  • Comply's booth had Sony's XB500 & XB700 - I think those headphones are using Comply's foam.  Forgot to ask for confirmation.
  • Parrot's Zik bluetooth touch-activated headphone is interesting.  Has active noise canceling, and works as wired headphone too.
  • Nokia Purity headphone (by Monster) didn't sound bassy at all, but it might've been the Lumia 800 as DAP or the loud noise at the show floor.
  • Klipsch Mode's noise canceling didn't sound too effective, but it could've been just because the type of noise at the show.
  • I had some connection issue with Hifiman's demo unit (DAP and HE400? not sure), I wonder if that's a common issue.

 

 

Surprised by your "Crap all around" comment on Skullcandy Aviator, considering the praises it has gotten here at head-fi.



Thanks, that's very interesting. Ety nomenclature still makes no sense rolleyes.gif.

 

Audio-Technica didn't have a demo set of the CKW1000 but they sure look pretty. All they had on demo were the Solid Bass IEMs and a bunch of headphones but nothing new that I could find.

 

The first TDK person I talked to didn't know what the BA200 was. The second was surprised at my asking to audition an earphone. The third told me there was a demo set but it turned out there wasn't - the only two pairs they had were attached firmly to a display stand. 

 

Monster's booth was very crowded and they didn't have any listening stations for the in-ears. The SMS audio booth was guarded by a wall of sound. Even wearing customs I was too worried about my hearing to come close. Also, listening impressions would have been impossible with the 100dB+ of background noise they were pumping out. On that note, Skullcandy's listening stands had ridiculous volume - couldn't listen to any of the headphones from the stand because all of the volume settings were too loud. The source was an ipad so it must've been the amplifier used in the stand that was turned all the way up. They did bring out demo sets I could try with my own source when asked, though. 

 

The demo HD800 I thought was probably underamped. It didn't sound as good as I expected. The HD700 was more comfortable for me and sounded very decent but would probably be much better still with nicer source and less background noise. They had no untethered Amperiors that I could try with my own source.

 

Can't find anything positive to say about the Aviator, especially back to back with the surprisingly competent Mix Master Mikes. With my J3 it still sounded badly post-processed and very bland despite the bass emphasis not being too great. I don't think it's any better than Beats Studios.



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post

Not surprised by those on the top, but I expected Westone to be up there. Very surprised Sennheiser is at the bottom. 

 


Just my quick impressions. Westone guys I talked to weren't sure an ES5 demo was available, one was surprised I asked to 'demo' a set of customs and tried to tell me they had to be customized to my ears (which I would have easily agreed to tongue.gif). They found the demo kit eventually.

 

Sennheiser staff couldn't answer any questions about the new HD25 properly. One said he would get more info and never came back. Another backed away from me to a distance where I couldn't ask any more questions (I promise I was just as courteous at their booth as every other). The only person who openly admitted to not knowing instead of feeding me BS was a guy from Senn UK. I'm not a reporter so my approach was maybe too direct and their booth was pretty busy - I'm sure my impression would have been more positive otherwise. That said, the AKG booth was pretty busy as well but they nearly forced me to listen to some of the new headphones (I was only interested in the K3003) and seemed genuinely proud of their products (IMO with good reason).

 

post #5655 of 16802

Have to say, I'm interested in the XBA-1. Never really got interested in the 4 since it seemed more of a V-shaped sound. 

 

No XBA-3 demo?

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