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JH-audio/UE/iem vs full size pro/con

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

So I have looked through the first few pages of searches entitled "iem vs full size" but the conclusion is surprisingly ambiguous. A few years ago when I was more active in the forums, fullsize won no question. I currently use grado 325s. I want something equal or better. I had looked at w3s jh-5s and others but I wanted to make sure that these iems were atleast comparable. 

 

Is it merely a physical limitation that makes these two uncomparable? will iems always have some rolled highs and less soundstage? soundstage is not a big issue with me anyway. I like impact and prat with  good dynamic range that is "warm colored" but not "muddy". 

 

So where does the JH-5 and W3 stand? does it compete with the Rs1,HD-800 etc or can you simply not compare them and if not why? soundstage? impact? Same reason speakers will always have better impact than headphones?

 

Lets assume my fullsize cans are the weak link and my source/dac etc is pretty topnotch. I will probably drive iems with the 602 or 801 hifiman.

 

I will need to get iems anyway but this atleast gives me some idea of how much I want to spend. 

 

thanks guys!

post #2 of 3

When you are at the highest levels of performance between IEMs, Headphones, and Speakers, it comes down to a sliding scale of detail/clarity vs. soundstage/realism/impact.

IEMs have come a long way, and the JH-13 sounds as good as (if not better than) a properly amped HD800. Yet the JH13 will still not give you the same sense of realism and air that a full-sized can can give. Though it will get pretty close.

 

When I tried the JH-3A with JH-16, I was blown away. I tried them at Can Jam, and only 1 of the other cans I tried came close to bested the JH-3A. The HD800 didn't come close, and nor did the PS1000, Edition 8, L3000, Stax 4070, or any other portable headphone. The only thing that came close was a Sennheiser Baby Orpheus (HE60) with a Cavalli Amp and top loading CD Player. The Baby Orpheus sounded incredible, and was about as good as the JH-3A (I wasn't able to directly A-B them). I bet a properly amped set of Sennheiser Orpheus' would sound even better, but at around $15000-$20000 you are in the reference speaker price range.

 

So if I could pick any headphone/IEM rig, it would be a toss-up between the JH-3A with JH-16 and the Sennheiser Orpheus. Probably the JH-3A.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 


Thank you for your wonderful explanation! you answered everything I needed to know!

Quote:
Originally Posted by violinvirtuoso View Post

When you are at the highest levels of performance between IEMs, Headphones, and Speakers, it comes down to a sliding scale of detail/clarity vs. soundstage/realism/impact.

IEMs have come a long way, and the JH-13 sounds as good as (if not better than) a properly amped HD800. Yet the JH13 will still not give you the same sense of realism and air that a full-sized can can give. Though it will get pretty close.

 

When I tried the JH-3A with JH-16, I was blown away. I tried them at Can Jam, and only 1 of the other cans I tried came close to bested the JH-3A. The HD800 didn't come close, and nor did the PS1000, Edition 8, L3000, Stax 4070, or any other portable headphone. The only thing that came close was a Sennheiser Baby Orpheus (HE60) with a Cavalli Amp and top loading CD Player. The Baby Orpheus sounded incredible, and was about as good as the JH-3A (I wasn't able to directly A-B them). I bet a properly amped set of Sennheiser Orpheus' would sound even better, but at around $15000-$20000 you are in the reference speaker price range.

 

So if I could pick any headphone/IEM rig, it would be a toss-up between the JH-3A with JH-16 and the Sennheiser Orpheus. Probably the JH-3A.

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