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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 498

post #7456 of 16802
I'm looking at getting a pair of Westone 4 or the Audeo PFE 232. I currently have the Ety ER4P and the Miles Davis Trumpets. The comparative scale shows these to be 8.7 - 8.9 and the Westones and PFE 232 are rated a 9.4. What would the biggest difference the average person (No golden ear) would hear between the two models I have and the two I'm looking at? As another reference my full size headphones are the ATH W3000ANV and they are pretty close to perfect to me. Any help from someone who has heard these is appreciated.
Edited by MLee - 7/8/12 at 9:10am
post #7457 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by suman134 View Post

thats nice man , if you dont mind would you share your eq , i would like to try . i use cowon j3 and some times color fly dec , j3 goes like 3, 4 , 6 , 7 , 7 at freqs 80 , 220 , 1.4 , 4.1 and 13k . do you use rockbox ? i used to use with my sansa clip with that custom rom .
 

 

Do you still use rockbox?  I checked that it has a 5 band parametric equalizer, which is JUUUST enough to make a good approximation of the parametric EQ I use on my computer.

 

1. Low Shelf @276Hz, -10dB, bandwidth 2 (or Q=0.6667)

2. Peak filter @2950Hz, -9.1dB, bandwidth 0.8 (or Q=1.78)

3. Peak filter @5300Hz, -10.3dB, bandwidth 0.4 (or Q=3.59)

4. Peak filter @8000Hz, -14.2dB, bandwidth 0.3 (or Q=4.8)

5. Peak filter @11500Hz, -9.4dB, bandwidth 0.4 (or Q=3.59)

 

The resulting EQ curve looks like this:

SHE3580-5bands.jpg

 

But apart from the low shelf filter, the high frequency filters peak filters need to be customized to compensate for your ear canal's resonances (they are tuned now for my ear)

 

You can take a look at PiccoloNamek's and my tutorial

http://www.head-fi.org/t/413900/how-to-equalize-your-headphones-a-tutorial

http://www.head-fi.org/t/615417/how-to-equalize-your-headphones-advanced-tutorial-in-progress

 

For you (if you're using the provided tips with the SHE3580) it should be enough to just sweep the frequencies above 2kHz with Sinegen, find the frequencies where you hear a spike in loudness, and move the 4 peak filters I've made to cover those frequencies, and that should yield an EQ curve with similar general shape that covers your own ear canal resonances.

 

That's a lot of cut in the high frequencies but I still hear plenty of treble energy coming from these Philips.  With the high frequencies smoothed out thus I get a bright but soothing sound, like a lightly overcast day--everything in the recording in seen in a soft flattering light.  With most other phones, if they are bright, it is like a sunny day at noon, everything is too harsh, or if they are dark, it's like nighttime, I can't hear anything properly.

post #7458 of 16802
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollra View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

Bad unit, bad fit, bad something else. Shouldn't be a fake, though. I thought they were discontinued anyway...


the M4 are not discontinued, they just ran out after the initial batch, just like with the ProAlpha's and others when they first came out.

 

That was my fault, I was thinking M3. I am not sure why a question about the M4 was asked here as I haven't reviewed them.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

 

This.  I've tuned the SHE3580 to my liking with parametric EQ to such finesse that when I went to audition high-end IEMs yesterday, and listened to such heavyweights as the UM3X, XBA-3, IE80 and JVC FXD80, none of them impressed me much at all.  The XBA-3 came closest but even there I felt its timbre on vocals was off compared to my EQed SHE3580.

 

I try to compare what I hear through phones with my memory of how sounds I hear in the natural environment sound like, and I still think the SHE3580 with EQ comes closest to reality.

 

ljokerl, I get that you try to rate headphones in sound without letting your bias for sound signature get in the way.  How do you do it??? For example you said the UM3X has not enough treble sparkle for cymbals to sound realistic.  I hear that in the UM3X, and it just sounded low-fi, muffled with bloated midbass to me!  Yet you ranked it 9.2! (somewhere above 9 anyway)  What did you hear in it that made you think "yes, it's worth 9.2 even though I don't quite like what I hear"?  Even if you go by technical measurements there's not much in it between mid-fi and hi-fi phones in terms of stuff like THD...

 

I really can't rate things based on technical measurements - for many reasons, but partly because I don't have the equipment available to me and partly because I wouldn't need to be in the equation at all if all that mattered was the response curve and THD. An algorithm could take care of all the "reviewing" if that were the case.

 

I think I can get the read on a signature pretty well at this point but the overall score, at least approximately, comes from the overall feel a phone gives as compared to one of my reference sets. I take my time with reviews to ward off any 'new toy syndrome' and typically go back after a while and see if my residual impressions of a phone match the score given. I don't claim to be 100% consistent and if I had to do it over again certain things would probably be done differently.

 

You have to also keep in mind that I do my reviews un-equalized, so while I realize that (for example) the JVC FX40 has excellent detail and clarity, perhaps right up there with the RE0 and Sunrise Xcited, I can't forgive the harsh treble or the heavily recessed lower mids. Higher-end sets like the UM3X, on balance, annoy me much less even if they pursue a signature I don't like and usually greatly impress in one or more ways. I really don't like the signature of the SM3, for example, but I never want to give them up whenever I get a go at a pair. The FX40 I couldn't get rid of quickly enough.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MLee View Post

I'm looking at getting a pair of Westone 4 or the Audeo PFE 232. I currently have the Ety ER4P and the Miles Davis Trumpets. The comparative scale shows these to be 8.7 - 8.9 and the Westones and PFE 232 are rated a 9.4. What would the biggest difference the average person (No golden ear) would hear between the two models I have and the two I'm looking at? As another reference my full size headphones are the ATH W3000ANV and they are pretty close to perfect to me. Any help from someone who has heard these is appreciated.

 

I've never reviewed the ER4P. The ER4S is in this thread and has a higher score than that. Aside from signature differences the biggest jump from the ER4S to the W4 and 232 will probably be in presentation - soundstaging and so on. I've never heard any ATH phones above the ES10 so can't be of any help there.

post #7459 of 16802

Hi guys, 

 

My MEElectronics M9 finally broke so I'm looking for a new IEM now. I'm deciding between the Brainwavz M2 or the SoundMagic E10. They are both $35 on Amazon.com. Which one would you guys recommend? I listen to house, R&B, and hip-hop. 

Also which one has better build quality?

post #7460 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

I really can't rate things based on technical measurements - for many reasons, but partly because I don't have the equipment available to me and partly because I wouldn't need to be in the equation at all if all that mattered was the response curve and THD. An algorithm could take care of all the "reviewing" if that were the case.

 

I think I can get the read on a signature pretty well at this point but the overall score, at least approximately, comes from the overall feel a phone gives as compared to one of my reference sets. I take my time with reviews to ward off any 'new toy syndrome' and typically go back after a while and see if my residual impressions of a phone match the score given. I don't claim to be 100% consistent and if I had to do it over again certain things would probably be done differently.

Oh, but an algorithm can rate IEMs based on frequency response and e.g. impulse response. (using waterfall graphs)

You'd have to put some weighting to the frequency response differences from 0 dB line - and this is a matter of taste, as well as rate various kinds of ringing.

 

It's pretty easy to classify bright/dark spectrum and describe the "kind" of brightness from the frequency response once you know what you're looking for.

Examples: "bell-like" peak at 4 kHz (Hifiman RE-2xx series and ATH-CK10), hot 6.5 kHz peak (GR07  - combined with resonance? - and lesser Sennheiser IE7), sparkly peak at 10-11kHz (ER-4S/P, possibly FI-BA-SS); forward or recessed sound due to 2kHz or 3kHz emphasis/cut, boxy sound due to high bass emphasis (200-300 Hz, common with low end IEMs).

 

Soundstaging is in fact directly related to the frequency response as well, esp. the highest registers, however this range is highly personal, so neither review nor measurement will tell the whole story, although I find that Joker's reviews match my own experiences 1:1.

 

Also, ergonomics are pretty much make or break of IEMs. It doesn't matter really if it sounds perfect if the cable breaks after a few months.. (RE272 - they should ban silicone cable sheaths) or if you can't actually fit it in the ears without causing pain. (e.g. Monoprice 9320 or Radius DDM for some.) If the IEM loses seal every 30s, that's also pretty bad, but possibly fixable.

 

It might be also useful to rate the impedance to give a recommendation like "needs an amp", "needs low impedance output" and perhaps measure the frequency response with various sources, simulating a portable player, a portable headphone amplifier and one a desktop amplifier.

 

--

The only people I know of who can actually rate IEMs and headphones based on measurements right now are Tyll of InnerFidelity/Headroom fame and especially people running Golden Ears site.

 

Both actually provide subjective reviews as well.

GE does so in a "dry" numeric form (maybe the text reviews are in Korean?), while Tyll has long winded reviews of the Stereophile kind with added measurements.

Joker's occupy a happy medium, but the "quality" thing is quite open to interpretation (it's the "like/dislike" scale) - however he does grade various ergonomic features accurately and in a numeric form too.


Edited by AstralStorm - 7/8/12 at 3:13pm
post #7461 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by matryx View Post

Hi guys, 

 

My MEElectronics M9 finally broke so I'm looking for a new IEM now. I'm deciding between the Brainwavz M2 or the SoundMagic E10. They are both $35 on Amazon.com. Which one would you guys recommend? I listen to house, R&B, and hip-hop. 

Also which one has better build quality?


E10 are far more forward than M2 and a bit less dark.

If you can equalize, I'd pick Brainwavz M2, they're more competent quality-wise. (and they're very easy to equalize)

 

I also note ViSang VS-R02 (Same as Brainwavz ProAlpha? How the two companies must hate each other's guts...) on Amazon at this price point and VSonic GR02.

GR02 should beat all of these three in general.

post #7462 of 16802
Are you saying the Vsonic GR02 is better than the E10, M2, and the Visang VS-R02?

 

Only place I found the VSonic GR02 is on ebay and lendmeyourears.

 

Are these the new ones I should be getting? 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VSONIC-GR02-R02PRO-Heavy-Bass-Version-Inner-Ear-Earphones-Earbuds-Silver-Cord-/170708747779?pt=US_Headphones&hash=item27bf08c603#ht_2191wt_1163

 

The problem with Lendmeyourears they only provide 3 pairs of silicon tips instead of the 13.


Edited by matryx - 7/8/12 at 4:20pm
post #7463 of 16802
Quote:

Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

I really can't rate things based on technical measurements - for many reasons, but partly because I don't have the equipment available to me and partly because I wouldn't need to be in the equation at all if all that mattered was the response curve and THD. An algorithm could take care of all the "reviewing" if that were the case.

 

I think I can get the read on a signature pretty well at this point but the overall score, at least approximately, comes from the overall feel a phone gives as compared to one of my reference sets. I take my time with reviews to ward off any 'new toy syndrome' and typically go back after a while and see if my residual impressions of a phone match the score given. I don't claim to be 100% consistent and if I had to do it over again certain things would probably be done differently.

 

You have to also keep in mind that I do my reviews un-equalized, so while I realize that (for example) the JVC FX40 has excellent detail and clarity, perhaps right up there with the RE0 and Sunrise Xcited, I can't forgive the harsh treble or the heavily recessed lower mids. Higher-end sets like the UM3X, on balance, annoy me much less even if they pursue a signature I don't like and usually greatly impress in one or more ways. I really don't like the signature of the SM3, for example, but I never want to give them up whenever I get a go at a pair. The FX40 I couldn't get rid of quickly enough.

 

I understand!  It's like there's pleasant deviations from neutral and unpleasant deviations from neutral.  Do you think you would be able to give the phones a separate "neutrality" score based on how close it is in signature to one of your reference sets that has a balanced response that is good for most genres?  Or is "neutrality" a subjective thing too?

 

 

Quote:

Oh, but an algorithm can rate IEMs based on frequency response and e.g. impulse response. (using waterfall graphs)

You'd have to put some weighting to the frequency response differences from 0 dB line - and this is a matter of taste, as well as rate various kinds of ringing.

 

But you can't tell from an FR graph whether the deviations from neutral are pleasant or not.

 

Although I would place value in an IEM that matches my neutral FR curve without EQ as that would lets me listen to all kinds of stuff with great SQ without EQ and use the EQ in a music player to EQ to taste according to the genre / recording instead of largely worrying about the IEM's own response (the latter I achieve right now by pre-EQing all music on the computer with the curve for the SHE3580.  I carry around some unprocessed songs to test phones I see in shops with.)

post #7464 of 16802
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

Oh, but an algorithm can rate IEMs based on frequency response and e.g. impulse response. (using waterfall graphs)

You'd have to put some weighting to the frequency response differences from 0 dB line - and this is a matter of taste, as well as rate various kinds of ringing.

 

That's what I said. It's just not something you'll find in this thread.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by matryx View Post

 

Only place I found the VSonic GR02 is on ebay and lendmeyourears.

 

Are these the new ones I should be getting? 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VSONIC-GR02-R02PRO-Heavy-Bass-Version-Inner-Ear-Earphones-Earbuds-Silver-Cord-/170708747779?pt=US_Headphones&hash=item27bf08c603#ht_2191wt_1163

 

The problem with Lendmeyourears they only provide 3 pairs of silicon tips instead of the 13.

 

I think the listing you linked shows all of the GR02 tips. The GR02 bass edition has the best build quality and is perhaps the closest in signature to the M9 out of the ones you're considering. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

 

I understand!  It's like there's pleasant deviations from neutral and unpleasant deviations from neutral.  Do you think you would be able to give the phones a separate "neutrality" score based on how close it is in signature to one of your reference sets that has a balanced response that is good for most genres?  Or is "neutrality" a subjective thing too?

 

I still consider a well-fitted Ety ER4S to be perhaps the most 'neutral' thing I've heard overall in terms of response. A neutrality score could be assigned by a machine using the frequency response and a set algorithm that weighs the severity of deviations. To have a human do it is a little more difficult - for example, what's more neutral - something like the CK10 that diverges from the ER4S heavily in only one area or the ACS T15, which is audibly warmer overall but would probably fall pretty close to the ER4S response curve when graphed? 

post #7465 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

I think the listing you linked shows all of the GR02 tips. The GR02 bass edition has the best build quality and is perhaps the closest in signature to the M9 out of the ones you're considering. 

 

Yeah there's a few on ebay that only comes with 3 pair of tips including the listing from "lendmeyourears"

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vsonic-GR02-Bass-/320936713941?pt=US_Headphones&hash=item4ab9519ed5#ht_762wt_1396

 

It seems like there is the old version of the GR02 and a new version. I just want to make sure I'm getting the new improved version.

 

Also I'm not really looking for the same signature as the M9. Wouldn't mind something better. 

post #7466 of 16802
Quote:
I still consider a well-fitted Ety ER4S to be perhaps the most 'neutral' thing I've heard overall in terms of response.

 

I don't disagree with you - however I will point out the obvious - what you hear as "neutral" may not be what I hear as neutral.  We have defined a flat FR as "neutral", which for IEMs is a very tricky metric to translate into the real-world experience of the individual listener.  With my somewhat constricted hearing range, a bit of V-shape can help - as long as it doesn't result in boominess or sibilance, and as long as the vocals & guitar riffs can still come through very clean without being recessed.  Even if my ears can no longer hear all the test tones equally, I think my brain can still generally remember what good audio is supposed to sound like!  etysmile.gif

post #7467 of 16802
Thread Starter 
double post

Edited by ljokerl - 7/8/12 at 9:38pm
post #7468 of 16802
Thread Starter 
double post

Edited by ljokerl - 7/8/12 at 9:38pm
post #7469 of 16802
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by matryx View Post

Yeah there's a few on ebay that only comes with 3 pair of tips including the listing from "lendmeyourears"

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vsonic-GR02-Bass-/320936713941?pt=US_Headphones&hash=item4ab9519ed5#ht_762wt_1396

 

It seems like there is the old version of the GR02 and a new version. I just want to make sure I'm getting the new improved version.

 

Also I'm not really looking for the same signature as the M9. Wouldn't mind something better. 

 

All of the Bass Editions will be the latest version - that model wasn't around until this year.

 

And, same signature does not mean same ability. The GR02 is still the better earphone, just not voiced as differently from an M9 as, say, an Brainwavz M2

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

 

I don't disagree with you - however I will point out the obvious - what you hear as "neutral" may not be what I hear as neutral.  We have defined a flat FR as "neutral", which for IEMs is a very tricky metric to translate into the real-world experience of the individual listener.  With my somewhat constricted hearing range, a bit of V-shape can help - as long as it doesn't result in boominess or sibilance, and as long as the vocals & guitar riffs can still come through very clean without being recessed.  Even if my ears can no longer hear all the test tones equally, I think my brain can still generally remember what good audio is supposed to sound like!  etysmile.gif

That's a given - while there probably is an objective neutral in terms of signal transfer, individual variations in hearing are something that can't be accounted for. In this case you may be able to apply a consistent EQ curve to compensate, no matter the phone.


Edited by ljokerl - 7/8/12 at 9:43pm
post #7470 of 16802

Hey everyone I am new to the audio scene and I was wondering your opinions before I buy a new IEM. 

 

I listen to mainly electronica styles of music as well as rock/pop and a bit of acoustic and RnB. I am not sure however what type of earphone to get.

I live in Australia so I would prefer it if the product could be found somewhere here because of lot of them aren't. My budget is around $100 AUD but if I have to I can go over but wouldn't prefer it.

 

Thanks so much for all your help on these forums as I've gained a lot of knowledge by reading through everything here!

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