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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 496

post #7426 of 16803
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by abhijollyguy View Post

 

What do you think about Earsonics SM2 DLX and Clear Tune Monitors CTM-200 as compared to the EPH-100?

 

The SM2 won't really give you the tighter bass or the depth you're looking for compared to the EPH-100. The CTM-200 is much flatter in response and definitely isn't what you want.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelopsaro View Post

To Joker and generally everyone:

 

Regarding the highs of an IEM.. the only thing that i am not satisfied from gr07 is the highs.. When i tried the hje900 i noticed that the highs had a nice micro detailed and crispy type but not particular sibilance. It wasnt that much and i guess some of the best iems in the highs might have this thing and even more developed.. On the gr07 this is totally missing in my opinion.

What do you thing?

 

P.S Joker do you have in mind to audition any of the AT CKM500, Meelec A161 and jvc fxd80?

 

The GR07 is hot in the treble for my taste as well - personally I think the GR01 does highs better. It all depends on what you're willing to spend and what you're willing to sacrifice in comparison to the GR07.

 

I should be able to audition the CKM500 and A161 in the near future but I already know what the A161 sounds like from the Fischer version I've reviewed.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nScott89 View Post

Joker this past weekend I purchased the GR06 and RE262 thanks to your recommendations. In the past, I purchased the XE200Pro as well based on your recommendation, and absolutely love them. Thank you, |joker|. 

Quick question: Have you ever tried the GR06 with a 70 ohm resistor cable? I hear that driving them after applying the adapter helps balance them out. I'm just wondering if you've ever tried that.

 

Thanks |joker|!

 

I have a 64ohm adapter somewhere but I haven't tried it with the GR06. 

post #7427 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

The SM2 won't really give you the tighter bass or the depth you're looking for compared to the EPH-100. The CTM-200 is much flatter in response and definitely isn't what you want.

and with JVC-HA FX700, I am afraid of the isolation and being sibilant on some tracks so what left for me is again the MG7 tongue_smile.gif, but I like EPH-100 a lot so in this case MG7 will not be the upgrade, it can be a side-grade. So MG7 has slightly recessed mid-range as compared to EPH-100 and has same or less treble extension?

post #7428 of 16803
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by abhijollyguy View Post

and with JVC-HA FX700, I am afraid of the isolation and being sibilant on some tracks so what left for me is again the MG7 tongue_smile.gif, but I like EPH-100 a lot so in this case MG7 will not be the upgrade, it can be a side-grade. So MG7 has slightly recessed mid-range as compared to EPH-100 and has same or less treble extension?

 

Can't argue about the isolation but sibilance was not at all a concern to me with the FX700. 

 

IIRC the MG7 had similar or maybe even a bit more overall treble energy than the EPH-100 but was darker and less extended at the top. Biggest difference for me would be the presentation - I wasn't particularly impressed with the MG7's smallish, somewhat closed-in soundstage.

post #7429 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

Can't argue about the isolation but sibilance was not at all a concern to me with the FX700. 

 

IIRC the MG7 had similar or maybe even a bit more overall treble energy than the EPH-100 but was darker and less extended at the top. Biggest difference for me would be the presentation - I wasn't particularly impressed with the MG7's smallish, somewhat closed-in soundstage.

 

Thank you for the reply.

 

IIRC so once you told me that FX-700 has better bass quality than the MG7. Am I right?

 

Also FX700 has slightly V-shaped signature next before EPH-100?

post #7430 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by abhijollyguy View Post

Thank you for the reply.

 

IIRC so once you told me that FX-700 has better bass quality than the MG7. Am I right?

 

Also FX700 has slightly V-shaped signature next before EPH-100?

 

Stop asking questions and buy FX700 wink.gif

post #7431 of 16803
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by abhijollyguy View Post

 

Thank you for the reply.

 

IIRC so once you told me that FX-700 has better bass quality than the MG7. Am I right?

 

Also FX700 has slightly V-shaped signature next before EPH-100?

 

Yes, though the bass response of the FX700 mirrors the EPH-100 better than the MG7.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by esanthosh View Post

 

Stop asking questions and buy FX700 wink.gif

 

This is probably the correct response tongue.gif

post #7432 of 16803

Hi ljokerl, between the e-Q5 and the GR07, which one do you think is more sibilant / peaky?

post #7433 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

Yes, though the bass response of the FX700 mirrors the EPH-100 better than the MG7.

 

 

 

This is probably the correct response tongue.gif

 

LOL Yeah this was the correct response tongue.gif

post #7434 of 16803
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by glac1er View Post

Hi ljokerl, between the e-Q5 and the GR07, which one do you think is more sibilant / peaky?

 

For me, the GR07

post #7435 of 16803
Thread Starter 

Added Phonak PFE 232

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

(1B8) Phonak Audéo PFE 232

Phonak PFE 232 400x300.jpg
Reviewed July 2012

Details: dual-driver follow-up to Phonak’s renowned Perfect Fit Earphone
Current Price: $599 from amazon.com (MSRP: $599.00); mic cable included
Specs: Driver: Dual BA | Imp: 47Ω | Sens: 104-109 dB | Freq: 5-17k Hz | Cable: 3.9' L-plug
Nozzle Size: 3mm | Preferred tips: stock silicone, stock Comply, Shure Gray Flex
Wear Style: Over-the-ear

Accessories (5/5) - Silicone single-flange tips (3 sizes), Comply foam tips (3 sizes), 8 tuning filters (4 grey; 2 black; 2 green) & filter changing tool, cleaning tool, silicone ear guides, replacement cable with inline mic/remote, and zippered carrying case
Build Quality (5/5) – While the housings of the PFE 232 are plastic, they are very well put-together and the finish is top notch. The cable is flexible, tangle-resistant, thick below y-split, and – most importantly – detachable
Isolation (3.5/5) – Average with the included silicone tips but better with the Complys and some aftermarket tips
Microphonics (4.5/5) - Very low with the intended over-the-ear wear
Comfort (5/5) – Though the in-ear footprint of the 232 is a bit larger than that of the older PFE models, the earphones are still very lightweight and ergonomic and can really disappear during everyday use. The cable can be a little resistant to staying behind the ear but the fit is very secure with the included cable guides

Sound (9.4/10) – Released in 2008, Phonak’s original PFE has been widely revered for offering accurate sound in a lightweight, highly ergonomic form factor at a price that all but obliterated the competition. Those days are long gone – the PFE still sounds excellent but has appreciated in price and no longer leaves as large a berth between itself and its rivals. The original PFE made excellent use of a single armature, so it’s not surprising that the PFE 232, the company’s first all-new earphone since 2008, is a “mere” dual BA despite its ambitious price tag.

The sound of the PFE 232 has been re-tuned to offer a fuller, weightier musical experience without sacrificing accuracy. Like the first PFE, it utilizes a tuning system comprised of three sets of color-coded nozzle filters. The gray and black filters are similar to those included with the original PFE and the green filters are adapted from the cheaper Perfect Bass model.

The bass-heavy green filters attenuate the midrange and a bit of the treble in order to bring the low end forward. Like the original PFE, the 232 is not very efficient to begin with, but the green filters still manage to increase acoustic impedance noticeably. They provide a warmer, bassier sound at the expense of a portion of the transparency and resolution of the PFE 232. Compared to the gray filters, the green ones are muddier, with veiled, somewhat muffled-sounding mids, a more v-shaped response, and less air. The PFE 232 with the green filters still boasts less bass than the pricier AKG K3003 with its ‘Bass Boost’ filters does, as well as a more recessed midrange and brighter, harsher treble. As with the previous PFE model and the K3003, I feel that the bass-heavy configuration of the 232 sacrifices too much of what makes the earphone special, and that if I were willing to accept a poorer-sounding earphone in exchange for a little more bass, the $600 Phonaks would not be in consideration.

Happily, the black and gray filters of the 232 provide a more agreeable audio experience. While the black filters still de-emphasize the midrange and upper midrange for a more v-shaped response compared to the gray ones, they are far more tolerable than the enhanced bass configuration. Most of the veil present with the green filters is lifted and the acoustic resistance seems to be closer to the more unimpeded gray filters. The gray filters are still the most transparent and – to my ears at least – the most balanced-sounding of the three. They do have the most treble energy, but only by a small margin. The entirety of the below review is based on the gray filters except where otherwise noted.

The low end of the PFE 232 is quite consistent between all of the different filters – whichever tuning is chosen, the bass remains controlled but very impactful for a BA-based monitor. Bass punch is reminiscent of the VSonic GR07, trailing slightly behind the AKG K3003 but beating out TWFK-based monitors such as the ATH-CK10 and VSonic GR01 without sacrificing any control. The dynamic-driver GR07 has a bit more deep bass in comparison but doesn’t sound quite as full and fleshed-out overall. Indeed, the PFE 232 sounds very dynamic at all times and strikes an excellent balance between body and tightness with its bass. It is quick and clean as a good BA-based monitor should be, but the note presentation is never thin. Compared to the Earsonics SM3, the bass of the PFE is noticeably cleaner and crisper-sounding, appearing a little less boomy despite similar power and weight. Taken as a whole, the bass of the PFE 232 is very solid – easily some of the best BA bass I’ve heard.

The low end of the PFE 232 is emphasized slightly in comparison to the mids. As a result, the earphone doesn’t sound quite as level as the VSonic GR07 and ATH-CK10 do. Indeed, even the original, single-driver Phonaks have better bass-midrange balance than the PFE 232. That said, the quality of the midrange is very good – it is detailed and very transparent - most so with the gray filters in place. It is not as warm and smooth as that of the Earsonics SM3 but sounds cleaner and clearer. Like the bass, the midrange does not overstep any boundaries – note weight is good and yet the PFE 232 sounds very crisp. It is slightly fuller than the TWFK-based ATH-CK10 and a bit more textured and refined than the VSonic GR07 and Final Audio Heaven A.

With the gray filters, the treble transition is reasonably smooth and the top end is highly reminiscent of the original Phonaks. The PFE 232 has a lot of treble energy, boasting plenty of sparkle and good extension. It reminds me of the VSonic GR07 in being a touch hot without sounding overly bright in terms of tone, and can occasionally accentuate the sibilance on a track. In comparison to the PFE 232, the AKG K3003 has just as much treble energy and similarly faultless resolution but tends to be smoother and less offensive with its ‘Reference’ filters in place. The Final Audio Heaven A, on the other hand, has noticeably less treble energy and sounds a touch grainy compared to the PFE 232.

The presentation of the PFE 232 is very well-rounded – the soundstage has good width and depth, great separation, and believable, versatile imaging. It is much more conventional compared to the enveloping presentation of the Earsonics SM3 and yet loses only a bit of headstage size. The PFE 232 is not overly intimate and boasts a good center image, with better layering and a more 3D sense of space than the VSonic GR07, though not quite to the level of the AKG K3003. The K3003 is also airier and more open-sounding, with slightly better reach up top and great dynamics that make it more involving at the lowest volumes.

The above comparisons are based on A:B listening with the PFE 232 and a slew of top-tier universals. Priced as it is, however, the PFE 232 competes directly with quite a few custom monitors as well, even with the cost of ear impressions factored in. Below are short comparisons between the PFE 232 and the Clear Tune Monitors CTM-200 ($350) and Alclair Reference ($500).

A dual-driver custom monitor from Florida-based Clear Tune Monitors, the CTM-200 follows a balanced sound signature with a neutral tone. Compared to the slightly v-shaped PFE 232, the CTM-200 is flatter and more level, with mids that are not recessed and smoother treble. Its bass is a touch quicker but significantly lower in impact and not as extended as that of the Phonaks. The tone is a little cooler with the CTMs and the transparency is slightly better on the whole. In addition, the presentation is more spacious and the imaging is a tiny bit more convincing.

The Alclair Reference is a triple-driver earphone with solid bass and a warmer tone. It has very similar bass punch and clarity to the PFE 232 but offers up more pronounced mids and a less v-shaped signature. The top end of the Reference is similarly hot but the treble peaks come in lower, making it slightly more prone to vocal sibilance. The mids are warmer, drier, and a little more textured compared to those of the PFE and the presentation is larger and a bit more convincing in terms of positioning.

Value (8.5/10) – Phonak’s dual-driver follow-up to one of the best single-armature earphones on the market is a top-tier performer in every sense. The PFE 232 sounds excellent, though it differs greatly in signature from most of the top-tier Westone, Shure, and Etymotic monitors. Some listeners may be bothered by the slightly v-shaped signature and the edgy, revealing treble presentation but the PFE 232 provides some of the best bass I’ve heard from a universal and the clarity and resolution continuously impress. Plus, from the interchangeable cables to the lightweight, ergonomic housing design, the PFE 232 is one of the finest overall packages out there, making it worthy of recommendation despite Phonak’s ambitious pricing.

Pros: Very well-built with detachable cables, including a spare; lightweight & comfortable; clear sound with excellent bass and three tunings
Cons: Enhanced-bass tuning a step below the others; not as well-balanced as cheaper 112 model


Huge thanks to 5370H55V for the PFE 232 loan!

post #7436 of 16803

I'm curious why accessories are given the same relative weight in the scoring as comfort, build quality, isolation, etc.  I mean, let's be realistic - I have half a dozen of the little earwax tools & clam-shell cases.  I also have lots of tips that I never plan on using because they don't fit or are uncomfortable.  I get that having multiple sizes of tips can be important - but I think that could simply be a small part of the "comfort" and "sound" categories - I wouldn't have it be a stand-alone metric.

 

Sorry - I know I'm being critical of what was clearly a HUGE amount of work.  I do appreciate your dedication to our hobby!

post #7437 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

I'm curious why accessories are given the same relative weight in the scoring as comfort, build quality, isolation, etc.  I mean, let's be realistic - I have half a dozen of the little earwax tools & clam-shell cases.  I also have lots of tips that I never plan on using because they don't fit or are uncomfortable.  I get that having multiple sizes of tips can be important - but I think that could simply be a small part of the "comfort" and "sound" categories - I wouldn't have it be a stand-alone metric.

 

I think in case of the PFE232 that's easily justifiable, I've never seen a more complete accessory package with any IEM, tuning filters, replaceable inline mic/remote cable and all.

 

@Joker: thanks for another great review!

post #7438 of 16803

dear ljokerl. i am going to purchase the Gr06. and have a question about its detail and clarity : is it very good or just good in its price range. and this GR06 is a bit sibilant or much sibilant ?

thank you very much for all of this

post #7439 of 16803

Thanks again. I really get a good sense of character from your reviews.

post #7440 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

I'm curious why accessories are given the same relative weight in the scoring as comfort, build quality, isolation, etc.  I mean, let's be realistic - I have half a dozen of the little earwax tools & clam-shell cases.  I also have lots of tips that I never plan on using because they don't fit or are uncomfortable.  I get that having multiple sizes of tips can be important - but I think that could simply be a small part of the "comfort" and "sound" categories - I wouldn't have it be a stand-alone metric.

 

Sorry - I know I'm being critical of what was clearly a HUGE amount of work.  I do appreciate your dedication to our hobby!

 

I don't think |Joker| uses the score for anything.  It's just a score, none of it is weighted.  If he did weight it equally, he would have some sort of overall score that averaged all of them.  I'm sure if he did this, he would not weight accessories as much.  I don't even score accessories.  I just state what it comes with :p

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