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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 465

post #6961 of 16802
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytton View Post

Thanks for that really clear comparison, your reviews are superb individually but it's hard for me to stack them up given my lack of experience.

 

Now that I'm starting to narrow it down, how would you say the Soundmagic E10 fits in with the S4 and something a bit higher end like the Crystals?

 

The E10 is not quite as bass- and treble-heavy as the S4 but more so than the Crystals. It's actually a very solid earphone for the price. With the Crystals you'll get better detail and clarity, tighter bass, and of course better isolation. 

 

 

 

 

Didn't try to add resistance.

post #6962 of 16802
Well, adding resistance as a general rule of thumb for multi-BAs is bad, but the W4 is clearly an exception, SE425 and ADDIEMs are as well. What rules whether resistance is bad or good are the impedance phase nature, sometimes bad, sometimes good.
Edited by Inks - 5/13/12 at 10:24am
post #6963 of 16802
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post

Well, adding resistance as a general rule of thumb for multi-BAs is good, but the W4 is clearly an exception, SE425 and ADDIEMs are as well. What rules whether resistance is bad or good are the impedance phase nature, sometimes bad, sometimes good.

 

You mean bad? It generally messes with the crossovers. The TF10 is disastrous with added impedance.

post #6964 of 16802
Typo. Yeah bad, the TF10 is a good example. For the W4, it's not the case though after what GE has shown. It's not that the resistance messes with the crossover, the crossovers mess with the impedance nature of every BA used so their curves get all over the place, resulting in incoherent changes.
Edited by Inks - 5/13/12 at 11:13am
post #6965 of 16802

This thread is an incredible resource! Thank you for all the work you've put into it.

 

I was wondering what you think about IEMs for a user - like me - who primarily listens to classical music, but also wants an IEM that performs well in all genres? I listen primarily to classical, but also have a ton of jazz, rock, even heavy metal type music in my library. I used to have a set of Shure SE420s, but I had the unfortunate mishap of losing them on a plane ride back from a college school of music audition. But I'm sick of using cheap $20 replacements, and am willing to put down a good chunk of money for a listening experience that will last and serve my purposes both as a music student and as someone who just likes to listen to high quality sound. 

 

In terms of my listening preferences...for classical music, obviously you need good bass. The Firebird Suite isn't the Firebird Suite without great timpani, tuba, and string bass sound. But I don't require the monster bass that you might find in, say, an R&B or heavy metal type genre. So for me good bass is important, but I don't need it to be overpowering - and in fact would prefer it not be. Midrange needs to be good, of course, and for me the treble is the most important. String/woodwind sound needs to come through crystal clear with no distortion. 

 

I've never used a custom-fit IEM before, but I've thought about trying it. What is your opinion on the benefits of custom-fit versus universals? Obviously custom fits are going to (in most cases) give better sound, but is it worth the hassle? And I've never really used any sort of portable amp for my day-to-day listening, but I have looked into that, as well. Unfortunately, I have no idea where to start. Any advice you have in that department would be appreciated. The Shure SE420s worked great with just a normal Ipod, but I have a feeling higher end earphones - even the SE535's - would start to suffer from being driven by an unaided MP3 player. 

 

My budget is fairly large, but not enormous. I'd prefer to stay under $1000 for the whole package - headphones, extra earbuds (if it's a universal), earbud fittings (if it's a custom), and accessories and what-not. Could you give me some advice for what would fit my needs?

 

Thanks.

 

 

Edit - The earphones I've heard the most about are the Ultimate Ear TripleFi 10 earphones, and the Shure SE535's. I see you have the SE535s on here, and your review seemed pleased, but not terribly impressed, by their performance. The UE earphones you list as being in the process of being reviewed. Those two are sort of my reference point - the ones I know the most about and have read the most about - but ANY suggestions are welcome.

 

Also, isolation is important for me, but not a deal-breaker. I often used my SE420s to listen to jazz tracks while I played along on drum set. Their isolation was really quite good, I thought, and allowed me to play drum set while still hearing the music in my ears and being able to follow along. I'd like to still be able to do that, but I would put sound quality over isolation any day.


Edited by Aethernum - 5/13/12 at 6:58pm
post #6966 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aethernum View Post

Edit - The earphones I've heard the most about are the Ultimate Ear TripleFi 10 earphones, and the Shure SE535's. I see you have the SE535s on here, and your review seemed pleased, but not terribly impressed, by their performance. The UE earphones you list as being in the process of being reviewed. Those two are sort of my reference point - the ones I know the most about and have read the most about - but ANY suggestions are welcome.

 

Classical music tends to benefit from a v or u -shaped sound signature, enhancing the bass and the treble.  The SE535 are a much more mid-centric earphone with slightly rolled off treble which may not suit classical music.  You might also want to look into the super-neutral earphones like the Etymotic ER-4 series.

post #6967 of 16802
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aethernum View Post

This thread is an incredible resource! Thank you for all the work you've put into it.

 

I was wondering what you think about IEMs for a user - like me - who primarily listens to classical music, but also wants an IEM that performs well in all genres? I listen primarily to classical, but also have a ton of jazz, rock, even heavy metal type music in my library. I used to have a set of Shure SE420s, but I had the unfortunate mishap of losing them on a plane ride back from a college school of music audition. But I'm sick of using cheap $20 replacements, and am willing to put down a good chunk of money for a listening experience that will last and serve my purposes both as a music student and as someone who just likes to listen to high quality sound. 

 

In terms of my listening preferences...for classical music, obviously you need good bass. The Firebird Suite isn't the Firebird Suite without great timpani, tuba, and string bass sound. But I don't require the monster bass that you might find in, say, an R&B or heavy metal type genre. So for me good bass is important, but I don't need it to be overpowering - and in fact would prefer it not be. Midrange needs to be good, of course, and for me the treble is the most important. String/woodwind sound needs to come through crystal clear with no distortion. 

 

I've never used a custom-fit IEM before, but I've thought about trying it. What is your opinion on the benefits of custom-fit versus universals? Obviously custom fits are going to (in most cases) give better sound, but is it worth the hassle? And I've never really used any sort of portable amp for my day-to-day listening, but I have looked into that, as well. Unfortunately, I have no idea where to start. Any advice you have in that department would be appreciated. The Shure SE420s worked great with just a normal Ipod, but I have a feeling higher end earphones - even the SE535's - would start to suffer from being driven by an unaided MP3 player. 

 

My budget is fairly large, but not enormous. I'd prefer to stay under $1000 for the whole package - headphones, extra earbuds (if it's a universal), earbud fittings (if it's a custom), and accessories and what-not. Could you give me some advice for what would fit my needs?

 

Thanks.

 

 

Edit - The earphones I've heard the most about are the Ultimate Ear TripleFi 10 earphones, and the Shure SE535's. I see you have the SE535s on here, and your review seemed pleased, but not terribly impressed, by their performance. The UE earphones you list as being in the process of being reviewed. Those two are sort of my reference point - the ones I know the most about and have read the most about - but ANY suggestions are welcome.

 

Also, isolation is important for me, but not a deal-breaker. I often used my SE420s to listen to jazz tracks while I played along on drum set. Their isolation was really quite good, I thought, and allowed me to play drum set while still hearing the music in my ears and being able to follow along. I'd like to still be able to do that, but I would put sound quality over isolation any day.

 

I'm not a huge classical listener but for the few dozen CDs I have, I prefer a neutral approach - my Ety ER4, for example. I don't have much to say about the whole customs vs universals debate - your budget is rather large but it's up to you whether you want to go through the trouble of getting a pair of customs fitted. Sound quality difference between similarly-priced customs and universals are incremental but a well-fitting custom can be an extremely rewarding thing to own - comfort, isolation, durability, etc. However, you have to be quite certain that you'll like the one you are buying. 

 

I owned a Shure E4c a long time ago, which I believe was later re-badged into the SE420. I thought it had a rather balanced and inoffensive sound but it would help if you noted what you liked about it and what specifically you'd like to see improved. 

post #6968 of 16802
Quote:

I'm not a huge classical listener but for the few dozen CDs I have, I prefer a neutral approach - my Ety ER4, for example. I don't have much to say about the whole customs vs universals debate - your budget is rather large but it's up to you whether you want to go through the trouble of getting a pair of customs fitted. Sound quality difference between similarly-priced customs and universals are incremental but a well-fitting custom can be an extremely rewarding thing to own - comfort, isolation, durability, etc. However, you have to be quite certain that you'll like the one you are buying. 

 

I owned a Shure E4c a long time ago, which I believe was later re-badged into the SE420. I thought it had a rather balanced and inoffensive sound but it would help if you noted what you liked about it and what specifically you'd like to see improved. 

I think what I did appreciate about the SE420 was that nothing really stood out as being too overpowering. The bass was good but not in-your-face, and same with the treble. The treble was slightly more emphasized, but nothing that I couldn't change with an EQ setting, and frankly I think I liked it a little more that way anyway. I think if I went for a new IEM, I would want something with maybe a little more bass, and a similarly strong treble - like guhmo said, a V or U shaped sound signature. Do the Etymotic ER-4 do that well? What about the Ultimate Ears TripleFi10?

 

The isolation in the SE420's was great. They fit well, were comfortable, and had an overall good sound to them. I'm actually rather annoyed that I lost them. In terms of all the things that aren't sound quality - fit, durability, accessories, looks, etc - I was satisfied with what the SE420 had to offer. What I'm looking for now is an IEM that will last like the SE420 (I only sent it back in once after about two years, and it was a small fix, which Shure was great about doing) and which will suit my purposes as a music student. On my best classical files I noticed that the SE420 couldn't always handle the lowest bass, and it struggled with some of the more dense choral music on both ends. 

 

My hesitation about going and getting a custom fit IEM is, like you said, that I'm not positive I'll be satisfied with whatever I get, and I don't want to spend that much money and not be able to resell or return what I get. The 1964-T and the CTM-200 both seem to be great options for customs that wouldn't completely destroy my budget if I decided I didn't love them. Any thoughts on comparisons for those two in terms of classical music? How would you compare those to something like the ER-4 or the TripleFi10?


Edited by Aethernum - 5/14/12 at 3:32am
post #6969 of 16802

How different is the fit of the 262's from the 272's? I tried the 272's out at a shop and I found them quite uncomfortable wearing them straight in with Bi-Flange tips. However with over the ear wearing they were a lot more comfortable. Do you think with other tips they would be more comfortable wearing them straight down? Also how do the GR07's compare with the 262s? 

 

Thanks

post #6970 of 16802
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aethernum View Post

I think what I did appreciate about the SE420 was that nothing really stood out as being too overpowering. The bass was good but not in-your-face, and same with the treble. The treble was slightly more emphasized, but nothing that I couldn't change with an EQ setting, and frankly I think I liked it a little more that way anyway. I think if I went for a new IEM, I would want something with maybe a little more bass, and a similarly strong treble - like guhmo said, a V or U shaped sound signature. Do the Etymotic ER-4 do that well? What about the Ultimate Ears TripleFi10?

 

The isolation in the SE420's was great. They fit well, were comfortable, and had an overall good sound to them. I'm actually rather annoyed that I lost them. In terms of all the things that aren't sound quality - fit, durability, accessories, looks, etc - I was satisfied with what the SE420 had to offer. What I'm looking for now is an IEM that will last like the SE420 (I only sent it back in once after about two years, and it was a small fix, which Shure was great about doing) and which will suit my purposes as a music student. On my best classical files I noticed that the SE420 couldn't always handle the lowest bass, and it struggled with some of the more dense choral music on both ends. 

 

My hesitation about going and getting a custom fit IEM is, like you said, that I'm not positive I'll be satisfied with whatever I get, and I don't want to spend that much money and not be able to resell or return what I get. The 1964-T and the CTM-200 both seem to be great options for customs that wouldn't completely destroy my budget if I decided I didn't love them. Any thoughts on comparisons for those two in terms of classical music? How would you compare those to something like the ER-4 or the TripleFi10?

 

The ER4 definitely isn't v-shaped. The 1964-T and CTM-200 aren't either, though the CTM is closer to what you want (neutral sound with nothing overpowering). The TF10 is v-shaped but there are also other options and with your budget you could do better if you wanted to. The Alclair Reference, which I haven't finished reviewing yet but which has been written up by average_joe, has more bass than the CTM-200 without being bass-heavy, which I think is right around the range that you want. It also has energetic treble - more so than the SE420 (from memory) but I don't remember the Shures that well.

 

Staying in the universal realm, a high-end option would be the Phonak 232. Otherwise the Westone 3 or VSonic GR07 may be worth a looking at as TF10 alternatives... I think both perform a little better on the whole and they would certainly be easier to re-sell if you didn't like them.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaz115 View Post

How different is the fit of the 262's from the 272's? I tried the 272's out at a shop and I found them quite uncomfortable wearing them straight in with Bi-Flange tips. However with over the ear wearing they were a lot more comfortable. Do you think with other tips they would be more comfortable wearing them straight down? Also how do the GR07's compare with the 262s? 

 

Thanks

 

 

The fit is similar between the 262 and 272. I don't much like wearing them cable-down either, with any tips. The RE262 is warm and mid-centric compared to the GR07. The GR07 has more balanced presence across the range with significantly more treble and sub-bass.

post #6971 of 16802

for the same price which is better, Brainwavz Beta V2 or GR99 ?

post #6972 of 16802

I'm impressed with the Sound Signature of the A151 and AF32.

post #6973 of 16802

My A151 definitely doesn't sound like a radio. My Cowon J3 fixed that and made it nearly bass heavy. 0_0

post #6974 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

The ER4 definitely isn't v-shaped. The 1964-T and CTM-200 aren't either, though the CTM is closer to what you want (neutral sound with nothing overpowering). The TF10 is v-shaped but there are also other options and with your budget you could do better if you wanted to. The Alclair Reference, which I haven't finished reviewing yet but which has been written up by average_joe, has more bass than the CTM-200 without being bass-heavy, which I think is right around the range that you want. It also has energetic treble - more so than the SE420 (from memory) but I don't remember the Shures that well.

 

Staying in the universal realm, a high-end option would be the Phonak 232. Otherwise the Westone 3 or VSonic GR07 may be worth a looking at as TF10 alternatives... I think both perform a little better on the whole and they would certainly be easier to re-sell if you didn't like them.

 

Would earphones of this quality suffer from being unamped and only driven by an iPod Classic? I've considered buying a HiFiMan or a Cowon J3 or something like that, or using an amp with the iPod that I do have. Would that make any difference? Or is the iPod sufficient even for high end universals and customs like the ones you're suggesting?

 

In particular, the CTM-200, Alclair, and the universals that you mentioned. To get the best sound quality, what would you use in terms of a source/amp/either? 


Edited by Aethernum - 5/15/12 at 1:33pm
post #6975 of 16802
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kanuka View Post

for the same price which is better, Brainwavz Beta V2 or GR99 ?

 

My GR99 has very few hours on it so I'm not sure which one sounds better yet but as a total package the GR99 would easily be my pick.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aethernum View Post

 

Would earphones of this quality suffer from being unamped and only driven by an iPod Classic? I've considered buying a HiFiMan or a Cowon J3 or something like that, or using an amp with the iPod that I do have. Would that make any difference? Or is the iPod sufficient even for high end universals and customs like the ones you're suggesting?

 

In particular, the CTM-200, Alclair, and the universals that you mentioned. To get the best sound quality, what would you use in terms of a source/amp/either? 

 

It really depends on the earphone. The CTM-200 and Alclairs are pretty efficient while the Phonak 232s (for example) benefit from amping more. Will the Reference still sound better than a TF10 right out of an iPod? Most definitely. Are you experiencing their full capability? No. Whether it's worth it to invest even more in an amp is up to you. I've heard my Miracle driven by an Anedio D1 and while I did think there were slight improvements over using my iBasso D10 as a source, I did not feel compelled to invest whatever the D1 costs to achieve those gains. If the question is whether you should get a higher-end IEM and use an iPod or get a cheaper one and use an amp, I would always invest in the headphone. You can always try an amp or different source down the line if you choose to pursue further improvement. 

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