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Testing for SPEED in IEM's - please participate in my test! [speed-metal / visual-kei /...

post #1 of 120
Thread Starter 

 

Hello, I'm currently hunting for some new IEM's, and whenever I'm in-store and they let my test their earphones, or I meet a friend with some IEM's and I have a listen, this is the track I use to check their speed.

I already have the perfect headphones for speed (SA-5000's), but they are too precious and too large to use on the move, and I am a person mostly on the move these days, so now I have to invest in a perfect pair of IEM's.

Currently I'm in south-east asia and I didn't bring my headphones with me.

 

[I actually use another test as well, I choose a fast electronic, synthesized music track, and then in Foobar I use the impulse convolver with impulse response "Unitpulse2K.wav", I then adjust the mixer until I get the fastest response.

I will skip this testing method for now, and I can't use it when I'm on the move, since I'm in a store or meeting a friend bla bla, I do however HIGHLY recommend the impulse convolver in foobar].

 

So here's the track, it's speed-metal / symphonic-metal, and every time I test a new earphone (as often as I get the chance to), this is one of the tracks I will use via my portable player:

 

Versailles - Silent Knight - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWdgZRVnTmM&fmt=18

 

First of all, skip to 2:45 (unless you like the song <img src=" tongue.gif="" width="" />" class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//tongue.gif" title="<img src=" tongue.gif="" width="" />" class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//tongue.gif" title=":p" tongue.gif="" width="" />" class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//tongue.gif" title="" class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//tongue.gif" title=":p" width="" />" width="" />" width="" />" width="" />) 2:45 is where it starts to become really fast and chaotic.

 

Second of all, instrument seperation isn't very good in this track, if you want to try to pinpoint the instruments (lead guitarist, second guitarist, bass, drummer) use the live recording instead, instrument seperation is really good here (yes, even on the youtube version, I added a code which bypasses youtube compression) and you should be able to seperate the instruments really easily with your 'phones.

 

Versailles - Silent Knight [Live] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUQi3hV3eM0&fmt=18&t=2m50s

 

 

Getting to the point, this is speed-metal, so naturally, I'm testing for speed, I know every note by heart (okay, not EVERY note <img src=" tongue.gif="" width="" />" class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//tongue.gif" title="<img src=" tongue.gif="" width="" />" class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//tongue.gif" title=":p" tongue.gif="" width="" />" class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//tongue.gif" title="" class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//tongue.gif" title=":p" width="" />" width="" />" width="" />" width="" />), and I'm testing if they can reproduce every note.

The intensity builds-up more and more after 2:45, so it's really fun to listen to (+I like the song).

 

Second, it's more about the isolation of the notes than the actual notes themselves, I listen for the edge of the notes, the start and finish, or the *air* inbetween, (the perceived millisecond of silence).

What I mean is that with super-fast passages like this (16ths at 220bpm or something? haven't checked) the notes don't sound isolated anymore, they're presented in smooth texture of 12 notes in a single sound, instead of 12 sounds, because the decay of the first note overlaps the second, and so on.

 

Here is an example of decay and attack which I drew in paint.

 

attack_and_decay.JPG

 

 

 

I personally don't like this smooth sound (the top one shown above), which is why I'm hunting for a new IEM.  When I listen to fast complicated elec.guitar or violin passages I like the raw, dynamic fast sound, the microdetail of the stress on the horsehair or the musical attack of a kaleidoscope of colours, not the musical slurry of a sonata served via a slushy machine at seven-eleven.

 

 

Now that I've explained that, when you listen to this track, you should instantly know if it's a slushy-machine or a sonata!

 

[Side-note: the human eye can only see a certain amount of flashes per second until it becomes a slurry, something like 10-15 flashes per second, after that it's bat-country.

The human-ear can hear a lot more per second.]

 

 

So back on track. (the non-live version) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWdgZRVnTmM&fmt=18

 

2:47 - this is where it starts

 

3:01 - 3:16 - there are some crazy fast riffs here, what is that person doing.

 

3:27 - getting pretty chaotic here, can you hear the drummer and all three guitarists? I can't.

 

3:47 - what is going on

 

3:51 - omg that is fast

 

4:00 - wtf was that riff? damn that's fast. best part coming up though, even faster!

 

4:11 - 4:30 - most intense part here - milkshake or masterpiece? in my current IEM's it's a milkshake, in my SA-5000's it's a masterpiece.

 

 

live version (acoustics and instrument-seperation are excellent in this one, yes even on youtube, make sure you use my link with the fmt=18 in it!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUQi3hV3eM0&fmt=18&t=2m50s

 

3:00 - this is where it starts

 

3:59 - hell yeah

 

4:06/4:11 - huh? that doesn't sound like an elec. guitar, it sounds like a damn flute! I hate you, smooth IEM's!

 

4:23 - the best part, the elec.guitar sonata, sounds like a couple of talented flute players to me though (on these bad IEM's).

 

 

 

 

Now, for those interested, if you listened to these tracks, please rate your earphones!

 

1 ~ 11 on speed,

1 ~ 5 on instrument-seperation

+ 1~5 on reverb

 

(second one is optional, but this is also useful to know, applies only to the live version recording).

 

1 is milkshake, 11 is masterpiece, every note is it's own island, you can hear every raindrop in the sky.

 

1 is mono, 5 is you can hear the exact instrument location, and even the different parts of the drum, and the size of the stadium and the echoes off the walls and some yells and murmurs in the audience! only give 5 if you can hear all of that!)

 

and list which IEM's/earbuds/headphones you are using! Thanks!

 

 

 


extra rating secion added

 


 

Reverb - x / 5

 

1/5 = bathroom

 

2/5 = car

 

3/5 = studio

 

4/5 = club

 

5/5 = stadium

 

6/5 = horizon

 

 

Full-size headphones are better than IEM's in this department, but there are still good earbuds and IEM's when it comes to this, especially as technology and research advances, which goes hand-in-hand with the increasing popularity of IEM's these days.

 

I would give a "normal" IEM without fancy drivers or housing a 3/5, faithful reproduction of a studio recording, but failing to emerge the user in a club atmosphere or live concert type reverb.

 

Just like a car audio system can have amazing sound quality, so can an IEM with a limited spatial field, so 2/5 does not mean it's a bad IEM.

 

If I can close my eyes and feel like I am at a club, or a live concert, that is one hell of an IEM, so if you decide to give a 4 or a 5 please do it justifyingly!

 

Note:  There is a difference between hearing a club atmostphere, and feeling a club atmosphere.

For example, someone calls you on their mobile phone, you can hear if they are in the bathroom, a car, a studio or at a club, but you don't feel like you are there with them.

_

 

Note 2: a good way for testing a club atmosphere with side-by-side comparisons of earphones is using the audio player foobar, installing the impulse convolver,

and then selecting the impulse file "club b.wav" and adjusting the mix (25% or so is ok), you can download club-b.wav here

 

 


Edited by kiteki - 9/25/10 at 11:01am
post #2 of 120
Thread Starter 

Ok I will start.

 

P.s. It's difficult to hear speed, compared with sonic char. like bass and treble, so side-by-side comparisons are most useful.

post #3 of 120
Thread Starter 

 

Jays A-Jays Three

 

Speed:  4/11

I-S:       5/5

Reverb: 3/5


Edited by kiteki - 9/25/10 at 10:50am
post #4 of 120

FA DBA-02

 

Speed: 11/11

I-S: 5/5

 

This little experiment has made me appreciate these a bit more :)

post #5 of 120

OP: What you really need is someone with many IEMs to test them... this should provide a better frame of reference, as some will likely be down-ranked, whereas if they where the only one available before, they may get an artificially high score with nothing to contrast between.

 

Just my thoughts, but my Mc5 sounds as natural as ever, though at 4:23 there seems to be some artificial oscillation with the decay on the guitars playing. Another thing would be to have a program pulse 1khz tones (which we are most sensitive to) in increasingly higher beats per minute, until it became monotone... See where people place their earphones time wise, and you will have a good idea of their speed. Sadly, I do not have the knowhow to implement this test, and it would be more technical, not so musical, which is more of a real world test.

post #6 of 120
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rakfunk12 View Post

FA DBA-02

 

Speed: 11/11

I-S: 5/5

 

This little experiment has made me appreciate these a bit more " class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//smily_headphones1.gif" title=":)" width="" />


Insane! WOW.

post #7 of 120

Westone UM3X

 

Speed: 11/11

I-S: 5/5

 

Earsonics SM3

 

Speed: 8/11

I-S 5/5

 

Guitars definitely sounds better on um3x, more details and aggressivenes, edgy, as opposed to the SM3 which sounds too smooth tbh.


Edited by tehort - 9/23/10 at 4:44pm
post #8 of 120
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenswall View Post

OP: What you really need is someone with many IEMs to test them... this should provide a better frame of reference, as some will likely be down-ranked, whereas if they where the only one available before, they may get an artificially high score with nothing to contrast between.

 

Just my thoughts, but my Mc5 sounds as natural as ever, though at 4:23 there seems to be some artificial oscillation with the decay on the guitars playing. Another thing would be to have a program pulse 1khz tones (which we are most sensitive to) in increasingly higher beats per minute, until it became monotone... See where people place their earphones time wise, and you will have a good idea of their speed. Sadly, I do not have the knowhow to implement this test, and it would be more technical, not so musical, which is more of a real world test.

 


a fraction of a second (1 / 100th?) 1khz tone pulse escalating in BPM is a great idea and would yield good results I think, most likely better results than here, yes.

 

one person with lots of IEM's, well, they are still welcome to list all of their IEM's here!  and then if someone else with the same IEM's lists the same results, then I would consider their results to be even better, and if someone else lists different results, then there is a dispute and one reviewer is incorrect, and I would mark "x 'phone is disputed", if three people give FA DBA-02 11/11 then that is better than one person!

 

4:23, yes, good observation, that's why I linked both videos, because in the non-live version 4:23 (4:11) sounds different, and I can't tell if it's the song or my 'phones, so I linked both vids, I have a hunch 4:23 should sound clean and seperated on faster 'phones.

 

Thanks for you feedback.

 

post #9 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

[I actually use another test as well, I choose a fast electronic, synthesized music track, and then in Foobar I use the impulse convolver with impulse response "Unitpulse2K.wav", I then adjust the mixer until I get the fastest response.

I will skip this testing method for now, and I can't use it when I'm on the move, since I'm in a store or meeting a friend bla bla, I do however HIGHLY recommend the impulse convolver in foobar].

 

So here's the track, it's speed-metal / symphonic-metal, and every time I test a new earphone (as often as I get the chance to), this is one of the tracks I will use via my portable player:

 

Versailles - Silent Knight - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWdgZRVnTmM&fmt=18

 

First of all, skip to 2:45 (unless you like the song " and="" become="" class="bbcode_smiley" em="" fast="" files.head-fi.org="" height="" http:="" images="" is="" it="" p="" really="" smilies="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//tongue.gif" starts="" title=":p" to="" where="" width="" />

 


LOL!!  You call THAT a speed test?!  Here's my speed test track that Hyperfluxe turned me onto.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6kZ99YSV1k

 

 

 

post #10 of 120
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tehort View Post

Westone UM3X

 

Speed: 11/11

I-S: 5/5

 

Earsonics SM3

 

Speed: 8/11

I-S 5/5

 

Guitars definitely sounds better on um3x, more details and aggressivenes, edgy, as opposed to the SM3 which sounds too smooth tbh.

 

Edgy is what we are looking for, thanks for the insane grades on the UM3X!  I'm happy my test is working.

 

post #11 of 120
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post




LOL!!  You call THAT a speed test?!  Here's my speed test track that Hyperfluxe turned me onto.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6kZ99YSV1k

 

 

 


Audio quality is like an old car radio, I will check again later!

post #12 of 120

i think you're just trying to trick people into watching vkei.

I shall respond with something equally fruity.

 

:3


Edited by dcpoor - 9/23/10 at 5:09pm
post #13 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

Audio quality is like an old car radio, I will check again later!


See, your phones aren't fast enough.     Actually, your link sounds more like the compressed MP3 to me.


Edited by Anaxilus - 9/23/10 at 5:09pm
post #14 of 120
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post




See, your phones aren't fast enough.     Actually, your link sounds more like the compressed MP3 to me.

 

Everything on youtube is compressed mp3, but I posted two links, second one is better.

 

If you think mine sounds more like the mp3 then those DBA-02 must be really fast and revealing omg

 

 

your link sounds like the mid-EQ is lifted up a lot and very "mono" sound (like a car radio)

 

2:57 and onwards is fast, but the I-S is low, difficult to pinpoint the lead guitar, the instruments are mixed together too much for a speed test imo, but it's pretty fast norwegian deathmetal Lol.


Edited by kiteki - 9/23/10 at 5:24pm
post #15 of 120

the DBA-02 is both fast and revealing so yes :)

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