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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 54

post #796 of 16803

I am totally new here.  I live on a fixed income so I cannot afford stuff, but a good friend in another forum gave me their trusty old Cowon D2 and the other day I fixed a friend's friend's computer and was given the gift of IEMs in gratitude.  I am very thankful for the OP's detailed reviews, I chose the iMetal iM-590s.  When I first used them, the bass seemed a little weak and that there seemed to be sibilance (from an uneducated ear) in the uppermid, low treble, but nevertheless they sounded outstanding.

 

Well, I was skeptical, but I did a burn in using this website here:  http://jlabaudio.com/burn.php (I don't know if there is anything better, if there is, please let me know) for 12 hours after listening for 4 hours. 

 

All I can say is Wow.  After finding a better fit (I am still trying to find the right one for my left ear which is smaller than my right ear), the bass is just right, mids are clean, treble is crisp, and it sounds like I am there.  I used to have a pair of Sure E2Cs and they were "blah" to me, but these are terrific and only 44 bucks at Amazon.  I spent a whole day working on a guys computer but it was worth it to have these.

 

I know you audiophiles out there will chuckle at some noobie with no pocketbook, but I just wanted to thank the OP before I dig in to the forum and this thread.  So much to read.

 

My roomate gave me a lot of ribbing about headgear thinking it made little difference, until he listened with these.  He just isn't into music like me, I used to be in a band (those were the good old days).

 

One thing the OP might want to add to the review of these iM-590s is that some complain that after a while the internal wires start to pop out of the woven cable cover and can't be coaxed back in.  Probably people who don't treat their stuff well, but I am going to watch out for it.

 

BTW, stuff played in Rockbox definitely sounds better on the D2 than the native OS.

post #797 of 16803
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by inarc View Post

Any plan to do Nakamichi IEM? I'm particularly interested with this ceramic housing dynamic IEM http://www.hmv.com.hk/product/headphones.asp?sku=43812


I've heard of the company and that's about it. Some of their models look very interesting but no - no plans as of this time. Perhaps I'll look into how to get my hands on one if I ever manage to clear up my review queue.



Quote:

Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

So I got myself a pair of the ViSang R02 and things definitely have changed since I actively was in the under $50 market.

 

[...]

 

I'm also guessing you distinguish among the left and right by where the vent is if you are not looking or in the dark.


Sounds like a good first impression. I have a feeling you'd like the sound of the M1 a bit better than that of the R02 (more treble, less bass) but the R02 is still one of my top three <$50 IEMs. Oh and the housings are asymmetric so you should be able to differentiate them by touch after a couple of days.



Quote:

Originally Posted by signmeuptoo View Post

I am totally new here.  I live on a fixed income so I cannot afford stuff, but a good friend in another forum gave me their trusty old Cowon D2 and the other day I fixed a friend's friend's computer and was given the gift of IEMs in gratitude.  I am very thankful for the OP's detailed reviews, I chose the iMetal iM-590s.  When I first used them, the bass seemed a little weak and that there seemed to be sibilance (from an uneducated ear) in the uppermid, low treble, but nevertheless they sounded outstanding.

 

Well, I was skeptical, but I did a burn in using this website here:  http://jlabaudio.com/burn.php (I don't know if there is anything better, if there is, please let me know) for 12 hours after listening for 4 hours. 

 

All I can say is Wow.  After finding a better fit (I am still trying to find the right one for my left ear which is smaller than my right ear), the bass is just right, mids are clean, treble is crisp, and it sounds like I am there.  I used to have a pair of Sure E2Cs and they were "blah" to me, but these are terrific and only 44 bucks at Amazon.  I spent a whole day working on a guys computer but it was worth it to have these.

 

I know you audiophiles out there will chuckle at some noobie with no pocketbook, but I just wanted to thank the OP before I dig in to the forum and this thread.  So much to read.

 

My roomate gave me a lot of ribbing about headgear thinking it made little difference, until he listened with these.  He just isn't into music like me, I used to be in a band (those were the good old days).

 

One thing the OP might want to add to the review of these iM-590s is that some complain that after a while the internal wires start to pop out of the woven cable cover and can't be coaxed back in.  Probably people who don't treat their stuff well, but I am going to watch out for it.


Wow, this is the kind of first post I love to see! Sounds like you found a match - congrats. Regarding fit, you may want to try Sony Hybrid tips. You can get knockoff ones for relatively cheap off ebay or the real thing for $9 at Best Buy. The stock tips work well for me but Hybrids have the potential to give a better seal.

 

As for the cable issue, I've known about it for a while but haven't experienced it myself. I try not to set a precedent for writing about something I've not witnessed firsthand. Regardless, Maximo have updated the build of the iM590 fairly recently. They upgraded the 3.5mm plug and I changed the cable (I think). Does the plug on the ones you got look like the one in my pic? If so, you've got the 1st-gen iM-590, which are still holding up well for me (about 15 months old now). I think the ones being supplied as warranty replacements at this point are 2nd-gen earphones. Not sure if stores have cleared old stock though.


Edited by ljokerl - 9/22/10 at 1:51am
post #798 of 16803

They look just like your photo, we got them from Amazon for 44 bucks.  I will have to look into those Sony tips at some point.  I'll go check them out now.

 

Did they change the cable to something other than woven?  I have two year's warranty IIRC, but I don't know if the paper that came in the shipping box is a receipt or not, it sure looks like one.  I will have to ask the buyer to email me whatever he got with that regards.

 

Is it really true that I should burn them in for as much as 40 hours?

 

Also, out of curiosity, were I to upgrade from these to something a little more expensive but that sounded the same except with more bass, just a touch more, what would I want to get?

 

Also, have you considered making a sticky that teaches how to self critique IEMs and what to look for, and what pitfalls there are?

post #799 of 16803
post #800 of 16803
Thread Starter 

To be honest I'm not sure. I know they changed the 3.5mm plug to something that looks more like the one on the Etymotic MC5 but I don't remember if they got rid of the nylon cord altogether. I'm sure the cord splitting/shearing issue was one of the things they were trying to fix. If you're really curious, you can always shoot a PM to Andrew H, the Maximo rep on these forums.

 

Some people recommend 100 hours of burn-in. Some say 50 is enough. Usually depends on the earphone. I say as long as they sound good, why not just use them? Burn-in is inevitable so just keep pumping your music through.

 

The iM-590 is still pretty close to the top of the crop as far as mid-range earphones go. If you want the same amount of treble crispness and clarity with a noticeable bass quantity boost you'd have to look at something like the Fischer Audio Silver Bullet, which I haven't finished (or started) reviewing yet, or the Panasonic HJE900. Not sure if the latter is still on sale but it's been hovering around $80-90 for the past few weeks.

 

And no, I've never thought of doing a critical listening guide of any sort. I suppose that would entail putting together a list of good test tracks along with what to look for in each one - quite a bit of work to be honest. Pitfalls are a good idea - perhaps I'll start writing some down. There's a few very common ones such as mistakenly declaring every bass-heavy earphone 'warm'. At the same time, it's really difficult to explain to someone how to listen for a characteristic such as warmth. It would be far easier if everyone had the same selection of IEMs but of course everyone's ears are still different. A guide like that would be quite a challenge any way you spin it.

post #801 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

And no, I've never thought of doing a critical listening guide of any sort. I suppose that would entail putting together a list of good test tracks along with what to look for in each one - quite a bit of work to be honest. Pitfalls are a good idea - perhaps I'll start writing some down. There's a few very common ones such as mistakenly declaring every bass-heavy earphone 'warm'. At the same time, it's really difficult to explain to someone how to listen for a characteristic such as warmth. It would be far easier if everyone had the same selection of IEMs but of course everyone's ears are still different. A guide like that would be quite a challenge any way you spin it.


And I don't think you should do anything like that either. What you have now is already "beyond extraordinary" in all aspects. Absolutely phenomenal.

 

You've already worked hard enough, and somehow have had the patience and time to put all this together. What more could somebody ask of you?

post #802 of 16803

Indeed, what a bunch of hard work.  My roomate and I have been writing things and writing is no small task, especially with the cost of things and adding photos and shopping information!  Once again, THANK YOU!

post #803 of 16803

I think a critical listening guide would be difficult to do. We all do critical listening differently I'm assuming and I'm sure how I do that is different than the way joker does his critical listening. There are some things that would be the same such as a good source, quiet environment but my tracks are probably different as well. I think it's something you learn over time but most people probably wouldn't be spending money on many different earphones to compare to another at least those who are here just to find out an earphone to buy and then leave.

post #804 of 16803

EQ.

 

And (for bonus points) test tones.

 

Seriously. People here tend (how can I put it mildly) to REALLY SUCK at learning their frequencies. I'm not saying you have to develop your ear to the point of being able to correctly ID a specific pitch when you hear it. But at least become friendly with an octave (typically 10-band) EQ enough to develop a reasonable feel for the difference between say, 125 and 250 hz. Hook up your various earphones, play with all the bands, and you'll get a much better idea of what the specific colorations are for each model.

 

Otherwise, to only be able to think and talk in terms of "bass/mid/treble" (which have no absolute/specific technical meaning, and will be perceived differently by every individual), is like a car enthusiast claiming their car is "fast". Does it mean it runs the quarter in 12's or 15's or 25's or 30's?

post #805 of 16803

It's still using knit cable, just one that is softer and more supple, and less likely to kink or split. (And supposedly tested to be something like 3x more durable than the previous one. So why did they provide the stinky one to us in the first place, one might ask?)

 

One thing I suppose we should check is what effect it might have had (if any) on the microphonics...

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

To be honest I'm not sure. I know they changed the 3.5mm plug to something that looks more like the one on the Etymotic MC5 but I don't remember if they got rid of the nylon cord altogether. I'm sure the cord splitting/shearing issue was one of the things they were trying to fix.

post #806 of 16803
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Katun View Post

And I don't think you should do anything like that either. What you have now is already "beyond extraordinary" in all aspects. Absolutely phenomenal.

 

You've already worked hard enough, and somehow have had the patience and time to put all this together. What more could somebody ask of you?


Quote:

Originally Posted by signmeuptoo View Post

Indeed, what a bunch of hard work.  My roomate and I have been writing things and writing is no small task, especially with the cost of things and adding photos and shopping information!  Once again, THANK YOU!

 

Thanks, appreciate the support . I don't think I'd be the right person to write such a guide anyway. My critical listening is very subjective in nature, which is why I can't crank reviews out day after day. I usually spend at least two weeks in daily rotation with each earphone before writing down anything at all.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrew H View Post

EQ.

 

And (for bonus points) test tones.

 

Yep, both quite important for consistency though I don't trust my hearing to match earphones to within 1dB the way mvw2 does . Test tones and a simple sweep are usually the first thing I do with a new earphone. 

 

Oh and thanks for chiming in on the iM-590 cable. I do hope the microphonics aren't any worse than with the old one. Do you know if stores are now stocking the new revision or will they still be clearing old stock for some time?


Edited by ljokerl - 9/22/10 at 6:05pm
post #807 of 16803

Hi I just wanna say thanks for this thread. I had old JVC air cushions and was about to buy new ones when I came across this and am considering some other options. FYI the air cushions are the best headphone I've ever heard. I listened to a good part of my collection again just because everything sounded so great, but I was going from apple standard headphones and dealextreme headphones. Right now the Sound Magic PL30s look very appealing. I was wondering if there was a more modern alternative and if you would purchase them over the M9s.. Thanks for the advice!

post #808 of 16803
Thread Starter 

I think the PL30 has aged reasonably well. It's still the airiest and widest-sounding sub-$30 IEM I've heard, has great clarity and good balance, and beats much of the competition in fit & comfort. Its main weaknesses are the fact that it glosses over fine detail (at least compared to higher-end stuff) and that the extension isn't great on either end. The M9 beats it easily on all three of those counts but sounds far more aggressive. It's a different sort of sound from the warm and mushy aircushions. I guess it depends on the path you want to take. The PL30 would be the balanced, neutral, and slightly laid-back choice in this case; the M9 would be the barroom brawler. 

 

I guess this begs the question: what are your priorities and how much are you willing to pay? The PL30 covers all the bases but may not amaze at first listen. The M9 may be too big of a jump from the AirCushions. If you want to maintain the approximate balance of the AirCushions you may want to look at the ViSang R01 as well.

post #809 of 16803

Woah quick response! Ended up buying some M9Ps for the built-in microphone, still ended up $23 and I should be able to use it with my new ipod 4g as well. I'll be sure to let you know how aggressive they feel in comparison to the air cushions. Thanks again man!

post #810 of 16803
Thread Starter 

Wow, has anyone else noticed that the Brainwavz M1 is no longer in mp4nation's catalog? Wonder what gives...


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nissansupragtr View Post

Woah quick response! Ended up buying some M9Ps for the built-in microphone, still ended up $23 and I should be able to use it with my new ipod 4g as well. I'll be sure to let you know how aggressive they feel in comparison to the air cushions. Thanks again man!


Great, definitely a good buy. Hope you like them 

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