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Testing for SPEED in IEM's - please participate in my test! [speed-metal / visual-kei /... - Page 4

post #46 of 120

Here is my evaluaton based on my Main rig (see signature)

 

Unique Melody Mages, Quad BA drivers custom IEMs.

11/11, Almost can count  the beats of the double bass. Clear and good instrumental separation. Good crash cymbal impact.

5/5.  Quite good in imaging... can imagine the crowds cheering and shouting.

 

Westone UM3Xs, Triple BA drivers unversal IEMs

9/11 : Very good for drums and bass guitar...but lead guitar not as clear as the Mages. Quite relaxing.

5/5 : 

 

If you have good source/remix, you still can get good quality in lossy formats.

 

Note: My iBasso D10's setup, has warm sound signature. 


Edited by bakhtiar - 9/24/10 at 4:19am
post #47 of 120

CK10, both speed AND texture.

 

p.s. Most BA drivers are plenty fast for this stuff and will have no problems keeping up, even the "muddy" BA drivers.  Dynamics have a tougher time being quick without other compromises like moderate damping (read RE0/RE-ZERO).

 

For BA earphones, most anything will do but the CK10 and UM3X deserves special praise for what they offer.  The RE-ZERO is a good example of how to make a quick dynamic earphone that can do speed and complexity very well, although the fastest dynamic I own is my OK1 earbud.

 

Yes the DBA-02 is fast.  It's one of the earphone's main traits.  The CK10's on a different level though.

post #48 of 120

Tested with the Meelec M9. Expected it to be slaughtered. But actually it turned out quite nicely for a budget earphone.

 

4.5/11 for speed. The earphones can keep up very well with the speed of the drums.Decay is another issue but i think it does pretty well. I have always been impressed with the midbass thump on the M9 and its control.  For the guitar, not so much. Its suffers when the guitars go from the low to high notes but the high to lows are pretty good. It doesn't sound like a milkshake. Actually sounds like a guitar but it just barely made it. 4.13-4.18 was where it screwed up and went all "screw this crap imma smooth this over)

 

2/5 for instrument seperation. The M9 has quite a nice and wide soundstage. All the instruments sound very distinct and seperated from each other, except for the cymbals which is pushed back as it gets lost in the music and the drums invade the mids when stuff gets serious. I am tempted to give it a higher rating but the fact is i could hear NO audience at all. Unless your talking about the end of the track :) And i have no idea how to tell the size of the stadium from listening to a mp3 on the intarwebs.

 

Quite a good result for a budget earphone i would say. I dare not give a higher rating due to it being a budget. I find the M9 soundstage very spacious though.

 

post #49 of 120
Thread Starter 

Thankyou for the great info so far.

__________

 

 

Since every earphone is receiving 5/5 on Instrument-Seperation [well, except for the one above, which was posted while I was writing this],

I'd like to add an extra [optional] evaluation to make it more specific.

 

Speed - x / 11

 

I-S - x / 5

 

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

http://sjeng.org/foobar2000.html -> http://sjeng.org/ftp/fb2k/misc_impulses.zip

 


 

For new readers, please look at page 1.

 

Here is the testing link again http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUQi3hV3eM0&fmt=18&t=2m50s

 

 

 

this test is mostly about speed, (smoothness vs edge/attack),

I-S and reverb are optional, although rating them is useful.

 

 


Edited by kiteki - 9/25/10 at 11:10am
post #50 of 120

Etymotic ER4, or the hf5

post #51 of 120
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sushibowl View Post

 

2/5 for instrument seperation. The M9 has quite a nice and wide soundstage. All the instruments sound very distinct and seperated from each other, except for the cymbals which is pushed back as it gets lost in the music and the drums invade the mids when stuff gets serious. I am tempted to give it a higher rating but the fact is i could hear NO audience at all. Unless your talking about the end of the track <img src=" width="" />" class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//smily_headphones1.gif" title=":)" width="" />" class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//smily_headphones1.gif" title="" class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//smily_headphones1.gif" title=":)" width="" />" width="" />" width="" />


If they sound distinct give it a 3, but you should be able to hear the exact location on the stage.

It's difficult to hear the audience ;)" width="" wink.gif="" />" class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//wink.gif" title="" class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//wink.gif" title=";)" width="" />" width="" /> try increasing the volume and listen for sounds that don't come from the three guitars and drumkit.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sushibowl View PostAnd i have no idea how to tell the size of the stadium from listening to a mp3 on the intarwebs.

A good recording compressed to lossy will still sound good on good earphones, and I added the fmt=18 code to bypass any youtube compression.

Since it's a video DVD I'm not even sure what the original format was, but I can look into getting a .flac version of the recording, or you can just buy the CD or DVD? Haha.

 

Quote:
Quite a good result for a budget earphone i would say. I dare not give a higher rating due to it being a budget. I find the M9 soundstage very spacious though.

Then you can give them a 3 or 4 in my extra rating system I just added,  but you said you can't tell the size of the stadium, and they're very spacious sounding? :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="" />

 


Edited by kiteki - 9/25/10 at 11:24am
post #52 of 120

This is a weird thread without real test data.  There's a lot of subjective info that is tough to scale.  Most people's experiences are of a limited range and are unable to comprehend the breadth of what's actually possible.  It's like if you owned a Geo Metro, a Honda Civic, and a Hundyai Accent and someone asked you to describe how high horsepower feels in a car.  You can't.  If your mix of experiences included a Corvette, Viper, pickup with a 427, super charged Mustang, etc. then you have a better sense of the raw, effortless  force that exists when there is real power there.  Anyone's understanding of something comes from their perceived experiences.  How fast is something?  How detailed is something?  How dynamic is something?  Well, for a given user, it's dependent on their experiences. 

 

A lot of "speed" music may not be as demanding as you think.  Speed for me is more so techno where beats, articulations, and dyanmic ranges can be unnaturally fast.  Slower earphones, less articulate/textured earphones, and earphones of lower dynamic range can lose a lot of information, well either not present them or muddy the information together.  Sound stage presentation, including space and separation, are part of these aspects.  The earphones with better separation, better stage size and depth, are the ones that have both greater and more linear dyanmic range and articulation of note.  Some of the faster, more aggressive earphones are more forward, immediate, direct.  One thing I like to do is watch music videos when testing earphones.  There are a bunch of nice, HD music videos on Youtube.  One aspect of a good earphone for me is one that is perceived as very "synced" with the image.  The singer is a good source for this perception.  Watch their lips move and pay attention to how in sync the audio you hear is from the video.  Pay note to variations in the voice, small noises from the lips and mouth.  Many, many earphones out there lack the ability to portray many of these subtleties and the ability to present information quick enough to sound "right there" as I'll put it.  Some earphones almost sound delayed or you get the sense that you are more an outside observer than right there on stage.

 

Really, there are a lot of little things that make an earphone great.  There are a lot of good earphones out there.  There are only a few really stellar ones.  Some aspects like speed are subjective.  The importance of some of these traits also vary from listener to listener.  How fast is fast enough?  Depends on the person and what they want from the device.  For me, the earphone needs to be fast enough not to muddy the sound during complex information.  A simple "noisy" track can show this pretty well.  For example, I use Linkin Park as a test because a lot of their music is a lot of noise together, guitars, screaming, drums, ambient noises, and just a mediocre quality recording really.  A lot of lesser earphones will have trouble seperating the sounds and making everything in the track unique and separate.  A lot of earphones will muddy the information together to some degree.  Very good earphones will separate out all the information to where everything sounds separate and in its own place.  An earphone like the UM3X is exceptional at this.  You will hear everything and everything will be separate.

post #53 of 120
Thread Starter 

Sony MDR-EX500 (IEM)

 

Speed:   8/11

I-S:        4/5

Rev:       4/5

 

____

Very good reverb, it is perhaps due to the multi-layer driver and unique housing a.k.a. echo-chamber like you also see in JVC-FX500/700 and models like that.

 

Speed is good but vanishes sometimes, if I could sum it up in one word I would say "refraction".

nice attack velocity but I couldn't feel the edge of the notes or sufficient microdetail, and they had a quality where the fast resonance would sometimes turn into dissonance, perhaps a trade-off for their wide field.

 

I'd like to take these home (I'm overseas) and do more listening with my proper rig, but the updated MDR-EX510's are coming out soon so I will order those instead, unless I go with a different sonic investment like ck10 or ex600.

 

*Salt is required for above praise, since I have not heard enough IEM's yet.


Edited by kiteki - 9/25/10 at 12:47pm
post #54 of 120
Thread Starter 

mvw2 ->

 

I like your car analogy, it's true most people have not been in a super-charged mustang,

but most people have been to a live concert, heard a violin, heard an electric guitar in a garage, heard a waterfall, or static from a tv, which is a pretty fast, raw sound in itself. =p

 

Also I totally agree that techno (synthesized music) is the best candidate for speed testing, and that with faster headphones you will hear more speed and detail which alluded you in slower headphones!  with a violin or elec.guitar I think more people should know how it should sound in real life and what detail is present and missing, that's why I chose this test for this thread and not my synthetic one.

post #55 of 120

I kind of see it this way

 

Speed alone = techno with specific gearing for fast information and complexity.

 

Texture and microdetail - organic devices, orchestra for example.

 

There is some challenge with techno in that some tracks are actually very simple.  You can just as easily pick a track that will sound fine on a muddy earphone, so choice in techno music is important.  It needs to have the type of music you want to test against.

 

I do like organic stuff, orchestra type music to just a guy playing a cello.  There is more emotion in this type of music through a lot more subtlties and variations.  An earphone is required to be able to portray cleanly small variations in dynamics, tone changes, etc. to convey this information.  Slower, less articulate earphones simply don't present or present the variation in too small of a degree to show through.  Realism comes from the ability to portray minute variations well.  Now this isn't specifically about speed.  For example, the MTPG which uses a relatively sluggish driver that does muddy with complex info can portray texture well, in a thick way, and convey some of these organic parts.  On the contrary, the SE530 which is fast, super clean ends up presenting so short a note that a lot if the articulations are simply missing.  Speed alone doesn't tell you if the earphone will present all the information or not.  It's not just speed, not just dynamics, it's a sum of many traits as a total package that presents more of the information within the track and if linear and appropriate in range create a well rounded representation and a believable, realistic sounding presentation.

 

The problem I have with speed alone is that it doesn't give you everything.  Most BA earphones are super fast when it comes to presenting fast paced information.  The Triple.Fi 10 has some of the muddiest bass out there for a BA driver design, but it's still edgy and fast, and hits hard.  BAs can be muddy yet quick which is something dynamics can't do together.  In my eyes if someone wants a fast earphone, you're either picking the right dynamic or basically any BA earphone, and it'll do well.  Now getting a strong bass line, low frequency authority, impact, etc. are different matters.  The earphone still needs to present the note with the right thickness, texture, dynamic range, and retain enough sensitivity down low to do so.  Dynamics tend to fair a little better on the bottom end than BAs in terms of filling out the presence.  It's a bit of a trade-off many times.  Some BA earphones do low frequencies fine.  Some need a little EQing.  Many just have too short, clean of a note to present bass in a full, robust manner that most people expect.  Bass guys tend to like dynamic driver earphones.  Some BA earphones do bass well.  The Triple.Fi 10 is a good example of that because of how thick of a note it offers.  The Custom 3 is another example of having a thicker, textured note.  The UM3X and W3 are good examples.  So is the ER4S although the sensitivity drops like a rock under 60Hz.  The CK10 is actually decent on the low end and retains unusually good definition of note despite not specifically being bass strong.  These robust BA earphones offer a good mix of speed, presence, and articulation of these lower notes and represent some of the better options out there when speed is desired but at the same time someone doesn't want the low end to be too lean in that "BA sound" kind of way.

post #56 of 120

A pure speed test is a difficult way to judge without any kind of benchmark which would mean having heard a bunch of earphones. Someone who has the RE0 as the best earphone they have heard would say that is a 10 but if you have heard the RE0 and the CK10 then the RE0 would not be a 10 since the CK10 is faster. We all have different experiences with different gear so it's hard to give a value to speed that would be relevant to anyone other than those who have the same experience with the same earphones which is very rare for many people to have the same. IMO any decent 2 driver or more BA shouldn't really have issues.

 

I did try your track on youtube for the speed and my Livewires had no issues with the first track and didn't try the other one.

post #57 of 120
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

A pure speed test is a difficult way to judge without any kind of benchmark which would mean having heard a bunch of earphones.

 

Imagine it's 1980, I just went to a concert, loved it, bought a tape of the live recording, bought a pair of so-called headphones which I've never heard of in my life, listen to them, and think they sound [insert zxcv] and think they could be improved with [insert zxcv], they clearly lack [insert zxcv] but have excellent [insert zxcv].

 

Also just because the fastest car I've been in was driving at 180kmph, doesn't mean I can't imagine what 270kmph would feel like, especially with detailed reviews of that experience, so of course I won't give the 180kmph car an 11/11.

 

Sorry, but those are my contradicting opinions.

post #58 of 120
Thread Starter 

mvw2 ->

 

yes I pretty much agree with everything in your last post, but I thought that texture and microdetail go hand in hand with speed, and that in most cases low speed will compromise

microdetail and that high speeds with compromise texture (becoming thin, cold), which is why I found your comment interesting that the CK10 has both exceptional speed and texture in the same package.

If true, I'm guessing the tweeter armature in the dual-BA setup has the exceptional speed and usual drawbacks that come along with that, and the woofer-armature takes care of the texture, either that or the internal housing makes the ck10 sound good, like the hje900 or jvc-fx500/700.

 

I don't want to hype the ck10's too much, but they seem to be the favorites in this thread huh?  and DBA-02 in second place.

 

Edit: and if they both have 5/5 in Instrument-Seperation, it'd be nice to know which one has better reverb.

 

 

Edit:  Just to clarify, I know speed isn't everything, this is simply my speed-testing track, I'd like to have about 12 tracks, one for each audio aspect, and then I will test new earphones or components with them, both for my own sake and for any potential earphone or source reviews I write.

 

 


Edited by kiteki - 9/25/10 at 4:25pm
post #59 of 120

I fricking LOVE Versailles! Great band. I have Jubilee in FLAC as one of my main critical listening thingumajigs.

I have to say that I only gave this thread a second glance because visual kei + symphonic metal has got to be something at least Versailles-esque, rite?

Also, Hizaki, so pretty... GOD DAMMIT IT'S A MAN. Gets me every time.

 

Anyway, for the RE-ZERO:

 

Speed - 7 | Pretty good, keeps up very well but still more of a smoothness over everything. Dynamics can't really match BAs in speed but the ZERO holds its own when things get busy.

Separation - 2 | Possibly just this recording/encode (listened to the studio recording) but everything seemed to blur together rather a lot. Generally I've found that the Zero has a fairly shallow stage but excellent separation between 5+ separate instruments.

Reverb - 1.5 | Again maybe just the recording, but I'm not really getting a spacious feel here. Pretty congested sound.

 

Take these results with a grain of salt, since I haven't really heard that many IEMs in my time. I'm sure others are more qualified than me to do the ZERO but I'm bored and thought I'd oblige. Plus, free Japanese symphonic rock. Worth it.

post #60 of 120
Thread Starter 

Hello Joe the Spider!

 

LOL at your negative grades on the re-zero! that is just what they needed, but could you please check the live recording as well?  the studio recording is too stuffy:

 

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

 

 

Jubliee in FLAC as your main critical listening thingy?  That is great!

 

 

p.s. any other earphones you have to review?  will be appreciated!


Edited by kiteki - 9/25/10 at 4:38pm
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