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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 407

post #6091 of 16802

I hate skipping research on something I'm going to plunk down some money on, but as it stands, there are too many choices and too little time to read all. And impatient. redface.gif So I'm here to ask around some suggestions to narrow down my research for my quite possibly first high quality IEM.

 

A little info on what I have, and song preferences.

 

I have, and like the CAL (which I find that the CAL matches what ljokerl said in his other thread),  They are for the most part fine when I need to use it outside, but as mentioned the isolation are not quite good for portable use, and with no form of folding mechanism, makes eat space in my bag. 

 

I also have a Koss PortaPro, and very much like using it on the go, rather than at home, because the boomy bass is less apparent when there are outside noise. Personally I find it almost match my CAL and often change between them. It is all the more similar, IMO, after I did the quarter-mod (cut a quarter-sized hole in the earpads, for those who aren't familiar), now they have a fairly balanced V-shape, with the bass just overpowering a little bit. Being open though, and the fact that I take the metro (subway) going to uni, all I hear is the train.

 

My music preference are somewhat nebulous, as in I listen to whatever I found pleasing/fun/toe-tapping/overall very musical; most genres. I don't listen to, or like, bass-heavy songs much, and very rarely listen to EDM or such genres. If I have to choose, the music the likes of Muse, 30 Seconds to Mars, the Killers, Keane, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Coldplay, anime/game songs and soundtracks. What I like in my songs though are a combination of vocals (especially female), synergy of the instruments in busy tracks and/or punchy bass that doesn't overpower the other spectrum. with a dash of highs to complement them all. 

 

As such, I am looking for some suggestions to read up that have almost, if not similar sounds to them, but with a little bit more forward vocals and a little more sparkle on the highs. I guess an all-rounder. My budget would be in the range of not more than $100, at most $130. Needs the isolation, or at least not making me crank up the volume when I take the train.

 

Oh and maybe geographic info is important too? Currently I'm in Moscow, so maybe some suggestions are harder for me to get. Oh and probably not more than 5 suggestions would be good. 

 

EDIT: I almost forgot, the source. Mostly I from 320 kbps mp3 from my phone, although I am looking up to snatch me some Clip zip or something, so in the future it will be .flac.


Edited by jgray91 - 2/25/12 at 6:18am
post #6092 of 16802

I have to wait for at least a couple of weeks for my FXT90L2. Waiting.......... rolleyes.gif

post #6093 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niyologist View Post

I have to wait for at least a couple of weeks for my FXT90L2. Waiting.......... rolleyes.gif


Getting another FXT90 ?

 

post #6094 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by olear View Post



I have FXT90 and found the bass balanced and not overpowering. Using silicone tips decreases the bass and brings out more treble. Using Comply's does the opposite.

 


Thanks! Going to spring for those and maybe some Jays silicone tips as well. 

 

post #6095 of 16802

What's the difference between Comply T-400 and TS-400? Thanks

post #6096 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by psygeist View Post


Getting another FXT90 ?

 


     No, I knew I was getting it in the first place, so I put it on my list. I already know it show be the best of the bunch I own. biggrin.gif

post #6097 of 16802
Quote:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gercam3 View Post

Hi joker amazing review, would you recommend Brainwavz B2?



Sure, as far as I know it's a Fischer DBA-02 mk I at 2/3 the price. Don't see what's not to like there wink.gif.

where???
 

 

post #6098 of 16802
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goombi View Post

Thanks! Just read 20 pages of the FXT90 thread and they seem to be the right ones for me.

 

Just two more quick questions:

 

- How would you compare the soundstage of the FXT90 to my previous TS02

 

- How does the bass compare as well? I found that I actually preferred to EQ down the bass as the bass became a bit overpowering at times

 

Deeper, more layered soundstage despite the somewhat forward presentation. The bass is tighter than that of the TS02 and not as aggressive, I am guessing you won't need to EQ it.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by jgray91 View Post

I hate skipping research on something I'm going to plunk down some money on, but as it stands, there are too many choices and too little time to read all. And impatient. redface.gif So I'm here to ask around some suggestions to narrow down my research for my quite possibly first high quality IEM.

 

A little info on what I have, and song preferences.

 

I have, and like the CAL (which I find that the CAL matches what ljokerl said in his other thread),  They are for the most part fine when I need to use it outside, but as mentioned the isolation are not quite good for portable use, and with no form of folding mechanism, makes eat space in my bag. 

 

I also have a Koss PortaPro, and very much like using it on the go, rather than at home, because the boomy bass is less apparent when there are outside noise. Personally I find it almost match my CAL and often change between them. It is all the more similar, IMO, after I did the quarter-mod (cut a quarter-sized hole in the earpads, for those who aren't familiar), now they have a fairly balanced V-shape, with the bass just overpowering a little bit. Being open though, and the fact that I take the metro (subway) going to uni, all I hear is the train.

 

My music preference are somewhat nebulous, as in I listen to whatever I found pleasing/fun/toe-tapping/overall very musical; most genres. I don't listen to, or like, bass-heavy songs much, and very rarely listen to EDM or such genres. If I have to choose, the music the likes of Muse, 30 Seconds to Mars, the Killers, Keane, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Coldplay, anime/game songs and soundtracks. What I like in my songs though are a combination of vocals (especially female), synergy of the instruments in busy tracks and/or punchy bass that doesn't overpower the other spectrum. with a dash of highs to complement them all. 

 

As such, I am looking for some suggestions to read up that have almost, if not similar sounds to them, but with a little bit more forward vocals and a little more sparkle on the highs. I guess an all-rounder. My budget would be in the range of not more than $100, at most $130. Needs the isolation, or at least not making me crank up the volume when I take the train.

 

Oh and maybe geographic info is important too? Currently I'm in Moscow, so maybe some suggestions are harder for me to get. Oh and probably not more than 5 suggestions would be good. 

 

EDIT: I almost forgot, the source. Mostly I from 320 kbps mp3 from my phone, although I am looking up to snatch me some Clip zip or something, so in the future it will be .flac.



Sure, I think the FXT90 would suit, should be right around that budget. Failing that, you could look at the Fischer Audio Tandem. Maybe the Tandem is cheaper locally - that would certainly be in its favor. Neither of these have great isolation but they are some of the better earphones in that price range. I would recommend the Sunrise Xcape IE as well but I am not sure if the construction issues with it have been solved. If you want higher isolation, then Shure SE215 or HiSound Crystal might work - you'd be giving up some sound quality but shouldn't need to turn up the volume with them. The Fischer SBA-03 would be my final recommendation, though that has a different signature. If you are able to try it locally, maybe that's an option as it isolates well and I feel many could like its sound if they gave it a chance.





Quote:
Originally Posted by kanuka View Post

where???
 

 


Well, a B2 is what, $120-130? DBA-02 retails (or at least did when I wrote my review) for $160-180. Therefore B2 is a chunk cheaper than an earphone I already highly recommend at full price.

 

post #6099 of 16802

well, the full price of  B2 is $170. true that mp4nation makes some offers and discounts (if thats what u mean)

anyway, both arent available for now. and there's the new DBA version 2

post #6100 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post



Sure, I think the FXT90 would suit, should be right around that budget. Failing that, you could look at the Fischer Audio Tandem. Maybe the Tandem is cheaper locally - that would certainly be in its favor. Neither of these have great isolation but they are some of the better earphones in that price range. I would recommend the Sunrise Xcape IE as well but I am not sure if the construction issues with it have been solved. If you want higher isolation, then Shure SE215 or HiSound Crystal might work - you'd be giving up some sound quality but shouldn't need to turn up the volume with them. The Fischer SBA-03 would be my final recommendation, though that has a different signature. If you are able to try it locally, maybe that's an option as it isolates well and I feel many could like its sound if they gave it a chance.

 



Hmm interesing. Well in any case that should be enough candidates for me to read around some more. Thanks for the response. Really love both of your very very massive threads. 

post #6101 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niyologist View Post


     No, I knew I was getting it in the first place, so I put it on my list. I already know it show be the best of the bunch I own. biggrin.gif



Too much of a conviction you have there :D

post #6102 of 16802

I was suddenly wondering, why isn't this thread stickied?

Alot of useful information, especially for newbie's like me

Rather than them making a new thread everytime someone wants to buy something....

"budget and best recommendation" new thread pops out almost everyday

post #6103 of 16802
Thread Starter 

Added Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 4 and id America Spark

 

Quote:
(2C47) Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 4vi

Ultimate Ears SuperFi 4 400x300.jpg
Reviewed Feb 2012

Details: Consumer-oriented BA earphone from UE
Current Price: $60 from amazon.com (MSRP: $129.99); $90 for Super.Fi 4vi w/mic
Specs: Driver: BA | Imp: 29Ω | Sens: 105 dB | Freq: 20-15k Hz | Cable: 3.8' I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: Generic bi-flange
Wear Style: Over-the-ear or straight down

Accessories (4/5) - Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes), Comply foam tips (2 sets), cleaning tool, and hard plastic carrying case
Build Quality (3/5) - The build of the SF4 is typical of mid-range UE earphones - thin but soft and flexible cables, minimal strain relief, and notched, filter-less nozzles. The shells themselves are rather sturdy and very good-looking in all of their matte metallic glory
Isolation (3.5/5) - Above average at their best but the housings don't lend themselves to deep insertion easily
Microphonics (4/5) - Quite low in the soft and flexible cable. Can be eliminated completely with over-the-ear wear
Comfort (3/5) - The barrel-like shells and relatively short nozzle mean that not everyone will be able to maintain a seal with shorter tips. The stock tips are the same ones included with the MetroFi earphones and simply aren't very good. The included Complys are nice but will require replacement. On the upside, over-the-ear wear is quite easy due to short strain reliefs and flexible cable

Sound (6.5/10) - Announced nearly three years ago, the SuperFi 4 was originally designed to slot in between the aging SuperFi 3 and SuperFi 5 Pro/EB models in UE's lineup. The current SuperFi 5 (UE 600) would not yet be announced for nearly a year so the single-armature design was not yet ubiquitous to the SuperFi line and the SF4 fit in just fine. To differentiate it sonically from the SuperFi 3, the SF4 was tuned for a thicker, slightly bottom-heavy sound. The bass is not particularly powerful, rumbly, or well-extended but it is punchy, full-bodied, and very well-textured for an armature-based earphone. It is accurate but not particularly lean, lacking the control and clarity of the newer SuperFi 5 and UE 700, at times sounding a bit sluggish.

Like the low end, the midrange of the SF4 sounds thick and full for an armature-based earphone despite being slightly recessed in comparison to the low end (in stark contrast to that of the SF5). At the same time, a bit of crispness and resolution is missing compared to some of the better similarly-priced dynamics and the pricier SuperFi 5. Detail is still good but due to the slightly bottom-tilted balance of the SF4, it performs better with male vocals than female ones. There is a narrow spike that can make the SuperFi 4 very sibilant with the rare poorly-mastered track but for the most part the treble is reasonably smooth. A bit of texture is missing at the high end and the very top bit of extension isn't there but on the whole the treble of the SF4 is well-detailed and pleasant.

Presentation-wise the SF4 is surprisingly spacious. Though leaning slightly towards a darker tone, the SF is a balanced earphone and carries a moderate amount of air. The soundstage is oblong in shape but at least has good width. Separation is better with the SF4 compared to the older SF3, though the positioning and imaging are less precise. An interesting characteristic of the SF4 is that it is less efficient than the rest of the UE range and can be a touch more difficult to drive. It is still more suitable for low-volume listening than the older SuperFi 5 Pro, however, which struggles to produce fine detail at lower output levels.

Value (7/10) - The modestly-sized SF4 is a welcome design change from the classic UE designs, though the company has taken the 'chrome' theme a bit too close to heart since the release of the SF4. The short nozzles and tubby shells are unusual for a single-armature earphone and may lead to fitting issues with single-flange silicone tips (the fit of the SF4 reminds me of a handicapped Hippo Boom) and the build quality is typical of lower-end UE products but on the whole the SF4 is a solid consumer-oriented single-armature setup with capabilities well in line with the rapidly-dropping street price.

Pros: Convenient carrying case, low microphonics, generally capable sound
Cons: Can be uncomfortable

 

 

 

Quote:
(3A66) id America Spark

id America Spark 400x300.jpg
Reviewed Feb 2012

Details: Metal-shelled headset styled after a spark plug
Current Price: $60 from idamericany.com (MSRP: $59.95)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 96 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 3.9' I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges, Sony Hybrids
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (3.5/5) - Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes) and tubular carrying case
Build Quality (4/5) – The two-piece housings are aluminum and feel very well-made. Cabling is of average thickness but resistant to tangling and protected by soft rubber strain reliefs at the y-split and I-plug, as well as on housing entry. A single-button mic/remote unit is located on the left side
Isolation (3.5/5) – Good for a vented dynamic-driver earphone
Microphonics (3.5/5) – Present when worn cable-down; very low with over-the-ear wear
Comfort (3.5/5) – The sparkplug-inspired housings are lightweight and can be inserted comfortably due to the long nozzles but sharp rear edges make them less suitable for those with smaller outer ears. Stock tips are of surprisingly good quality

Sound (7.5/10) – The Spark is a bass-heavy earphone with surprisingly solid sonic characteristics. The Bass is deep and powerful, with plenty of punch and good texture throughout. Both the subbass depth and overall bass quantity are slightly greater compared to the Soundmagic E10 and Beyerdynamic DTX 101 and on par with the Fischer Audio Consonance. Bass control is good – the Spark is neither the quickest nor the most resolving earphone out there but for a set bassy enough to please the mainstream listener, it performs very well.

There is a bit of bass bleed but the mids are still strong and clear. The Spark manages to be mildly v-shaped in response without placing the midrange too far back, partly as a result of its overall presentation being fairly aggressive. In this way it is reminiscent of the pricier PureSound ClarityOne, albeit thinner and more dry-sounding. In comparison, the similarly-priced Fischer Audio Consonance is more mid-recessed, but thicker and smoother. The mids of the Spark are still not nearly as forward as those of the Beyerdynamic DTX 101 or Brainwavz M2 but compared to most other bass-heavy sets its balance is rather good.

Moving upward, the Spark boasts some emphasis and mild unevenness in the lower treble, giving it a little sparkle without risking significant sibilance. There is a bit of edginess to the treble but the only real complaint I have is its mediocre extension, which results in a darker tonal slant and slight lack of air in the upper registers. Aside from the last bit of top end extension, the Spark satisfies with good treble energy, detail, and crispness.

The presentation of the Spark is pretty standard for a mid-range dynamic earphone. It is slightly aggressive and doesn’t have the largest soundstage but is well-rounded, with decent depth and good layering. The Soundmagic E10, with its sparkly, well-extended treble, has a larger, more open presentation but the Beyerdynamic DTX 101 and Dunu Trident lack layering and sound less three-dimensional in comparison to the Spark. Instrument separation and dynamics are on similarly even footing with competing sets from Head-Fi’s favorite brands. A final point to note – the Spark is surprisingly efficient and, despite the conservative stated figures, reaches listening volume more quickly than any of the sets I put it up against.

Value (8.5/10) – The id America Spark is a solid choice for those seeking a bass-heavy headset at a reasonable price. True to its name, the Spark is energetic, with excellent bass impact, good clarity, and a well-rounded presentation making it an easy choice over popular mainstream sets such as the Beats by Dre Tour and Klipsch Image S4. Add native headset functionality, a striking design, and good build quality and the Spark should strike up interest not only in the car buffs, but all music lovers.

Pros: Solid build quality; bass-heavy sound with good clarity and layering
Cons: Sharp rear edges maybe be uncomfortable for some


A full review of the Spark with more images can be found here

 

 

post #6104 of 16802

Interesting review on the Spark joker. In your opinion does the id America Spark go head to head with the Klipish S4 and best it in any way?

post #6105 of 16802
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post

Interesting review on the Spark joker. In your opinion does the id America Spark go head to head with the Klipish S4 and best it in any way?



I'd put the Spark closer to the better <$100 sets such as the Fischer Eterna/Consonance and Hippo VB. The S4 comparison is very fair - they are actually similarly v-shaped in response and share many of the same flaws - but there is no reason I can see to pick the S4 over the Spark for SQ. The Spark has better bass depth, less recessed mids (milder v-shape), and isn't as harsh up top. Treble extension is not great with either, both have some bass bleed, and the soundstages are similarly average-sized. However, the Spark has pretty decent layering. 

 

Not sure where id America got this driver but the performance is quite close to Fischer's Consonance, which I was impressed by and still recommend highly as a bass-heavy set.

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