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Ortofon e-Q5 Impressions Thread - Page 68

post #1006 of 1011
Originally Posted by datranz View Post

I own the eq5, dunu 2000, and jvc fx850. I'm fav is the dunu 2k.

I should be expecting a jvc fx750 soon hopefully, how do you compare the dunu with your woody? Lol

I already read earfonia's review but found a hint of bias (I mean that in a sincere good way)

I actually got around to actually liking the dn2k enough to keep them. I'm still suspicious enough to think that they aren't enough to trump the woody technology and timbre!
post #1007 of 1011
Originally Posted by DecentLevi View Post

My review of the Ortofon e-Q5 earphones:
In short: ASTOUNDING...
Ok so upon putting these great looking earphones into my ears and pressing play, I'm wondering, 'is this it'? 
Treble: SEVERELY SEVERELY rolled off. Had to boost all frequencies above 4k by 6-10 decibels to be able to hear the detail that's (supposed) to be there, but by that point it still sounded to un-natural in the highs
Bass: SEVERELY SEVERELY rolled off. I had to use my memory of how the low end of the songs are supposed to be in order to imagine the proper sound of the bass. Had to boost by at least 3 decibels under 250hz
Mids: Throaty, nasal, congested
Dynamics / impact: as muddy as a pig's den during a rainstorm. Super difficult to even imagine the 'slam' from the likes of drums.
Soundstage: I had to coin a new term to describe the soundstage on the e-Q5: 'negative inverse'. This is to say that, instead of the elements of a recording surrounding you in an immersive 3D way, they actually seemed to collapse inward on your ears like an 'implosion' instead of 'expansion' of sound
Vocal presentation: Seriously non-organic. The sound of the DJ's voice was very emphasized in the mid-bass and congested sounding.
I tried all 4 tips that it came with including 3 silicon sizes and the comply tips. The Silicon tips made everything sound very rolled off and non detailed, while the comply tips refined the sound on all frequencies. I tried the connection directly to my cell phone, then with a small Fiio portable amp, and with my $1,000 TOTL tube amp / DAC full size rig. I then compared the e-Q5 to my free non-brand earbuds that came with my Android phone. Instantly I heard an improvement in the bass response and dynamics, although the treble on these was emphasized in the upper highs and somewhat metallic in comparison - that is to say that I preferred my free white earbuds over these. Next I compared the e-Q5 to my Sennheiser HD 650 full-size 'cans on the full size rig, and... and... words cannot describe how much better the sound was in every way, shape and form. My brain was telling me 60x better sound but I kept on trying to quantify it with a more realistic number, but I just can't get myself not to say these in-ears sound any less than 60x worse than the HD 650's. Finally 1/2 hr. later I decided to give them one last try with the smallest silicon tips provided, which gave me a deeper insertion... crossing my fingers and hoping for an improvement, then... WOW this sounded even worse! So much that it had actually and truthfully triggered my gag reflex to vomit, so I yanked them out, and ahhh, luckily I feel OK again!
Overall this earphone seemed to have an upside-down U-shaped sound signature (the opposite of V-shaped). It does not deserve to be in the audiophile classification with it's non-detailed sound, severely lacking on both sides of the frequency spectrum, very nasal sound with virtually no impact to the dynamics, and not refined at all. I was astounded by how bad these sounded. It was by far the worst thing I've heard all year - and this is coming from somebody who has been to 3 full days of two separate CanJam / head-fi meets and has tried around 100 mid and TOTL headphones... albeit mostly full size cans. Also note that I am not a basshead, as I didn't like the sound signature of ATH-M50, Momemtum over-ears or Beats on-ears. I guess I'm just not a balanced armature guy, and that this whole BA business really needs to do some massive overhaul in order to make a more refined sound - without that the BA technology will probably become obsolete.

Honestly I don't understand this at all. I swear I'm not a fan boy, and I don't even own them anymore. Per above, burn will improve but not anything close to making what you write about that much better. This is in no way meant to be insulting. I actually love your candor, but I must disagree with every single thing you wrote about the e q5. Rolled of unrealistic treble? This is their strong point. Very very airy. Throaty mids? As written by someone above, these breath tube sounding. Only thing I can think of, maybe a fit issues. These are for large canals only.
post #1008 of 1011
my personal preference-
Dunu 2000>eq5>fx850. If the eq5 had more bass. It will be perfect for me.
post #1009 of 1011
Originally Posted by Freefallr4545 View Post

Honestly I don't understand this at all. I swear I'm not a fan boy, and I don't even own them anymore. Per above, burn will improve but not anything close to making what you write about that much better. This is in no way meant to be insulting. I actually love your candor, but I must disagree with every single thing you wrote about the e q5. Rolled of unrealistic treble? This is their strong point. Very very airy. Throaty mids? As written by someone above, these breath tube sounding. Only thing I can think of, maybe a fit issues. These are for large canals only.
ya I'm with you on this.rolled off treble? Sure maybe the bass a bit..but for their price point I think they have one of the best mids I've heard for sure.
post #1010 of 1011
On the whole are they durable? Are the cables a known issue other than the 2-3 cases highlighted here? I just got a good offer for these, going to pull the trigger soon.
post #1011 of 1011

another review,  probably last one as it is discontinued model.



Ortofon E-Q5
‪#‎Review‬ by Zeph Ponce

It’s “All About That Bass" says Meghan Trainor.

It’s a bit funny because the Ortofon E-Q5 is anything but bassy. Anyways, that is my takeaway after spending 3 weeks with it. This journey started 6 weeks ago when Rico Cheng of Egghead Audio Hub sent us the Ortofons (both the E-Q8 and the E-Q5). Before I set upon the burn in ritual to appease the sonic gods and to quell the noisy placebo demons in my mind, I had the chance to inspect the E-Q5.

The earphone shells are made of two-parts machined aluminum. They are painted metallic red and are attached to a 1.2 meter black cable. The driver shells look like elegantly finished bullets. Its cable is rather thin but retains no memory and thus is a joy to untangle. The cable’s build is somewhat compromised by its lack of strain relief at the exit of the driver case.

Over time, this will become an issue. Worse, because the cable is inserted straight into the butt of the bullet case, it sticks out when worn. Aesthetics aside, there should be practical concerns about cables sticking horizontally out of our ears. Although it isn’t advisable to sleep with an IEM on, who among us audio nuts haven’t done that at time or another? This cable orientation became a problem when I fell asleep.

Specifications of the E-Q5:
•Audio Engine: Moving Armature
•Frequency Response: 10-20 kHz +/-3db
•Sensitivity at 1 kHz: 118db SPL for 1.0mw input
•Impedance: 40 ohm
•Maximum Rated Input Power: 5.0mw
•Weight: 15.9g
•Cable: 1.2m

Much have been said about the Ortofon silicon tips but it was only after I first worn them that I realized how true they were. They’re very comfortable! The physically unassuming piece of transparent rubber seems pretty ordinary until you feel the form-fitting soft mushroom. The first time I inserted the E-Q5, I was amazed how much of the ambient noise the tips block out. The din outside has been subdued to a muted mumble. Having had the experience with the Earsonics Rockets, I gingerly pulled the E-Q5 red bullets out of my ears. They dislodged with little resistance.

When I received the E-Q5, I listened briefly to acquaint myself with its out-of-the-box sound. Midrange was washed down, mid-bass was less audible and sub-bass even less so. To one who is very familiar with Lorde, the bass response of the brand new Ortofon was grossly wanting. There was a fuzziness in the midrange that I found to be tolerable with female vocals but unacceptable with male’s. It sounded uncharacteristically thin. The treble was generally well presented but lacked air and extension. Wary that I may be prematurely dismissive, I put the E-Q5 on loop playback with my Hifiman HM-700 for the recommended 100 hours burn-in treatment.

The most appreciable improvement passed 100 hours is the bass. It now occupies my whole headroom. Bass presence is kept low though and this control is so well implemented that its large movement low frequency air never intrudes upon the mids. I love how the Ortofon can produce the expansive mid-bass of Lorde’s “Glory and Gore” that seems to fill the room while maintaining that versatility to make itself scarce in Andrea Bocelli’s “Nessum Dorma”. Producing only a subtle sub-bass that – for lack of a better analogy – seems to be running on a sub-tellurian bass current. I feel the bass presence but the deftness with which the E-Q5 keeps it out of the way of Bocelli’s aria is truly classy. In One Republic’s “Secrets”, it delicately reproduces the violin’s sub-harmonics in the first thirty seconds of the track, keeping that mid-bass note tight and clean.

Midrange and specifically vocals appear to be a step farther away from the placement of bass instruments. This provides me with a pleasurable listening experience as I dislike the overly intimate, in-your-face presentation. Male vocals sound more robust. Placido Domingo’s “Nessum Dorma” was an absolute delight in baritone. Similarly, Tracy Chapman’s almost guttural androgenic voice was vividly reproduced out of the E-Q5 that “Mountains O’ Things” so filled me with the pointlessness and dread of commercialism. However, this soon ended when Celine Dion sang and lost a full octave of her vocal pitch. E-Q5 doesn’t quite capture her belting voice. It just does not have that "bite" that I was used to.

The highs are the Achilles’ heel of this Ortofon. It appears that this enervated top-end may have been one of the unintended consequences of global warming. The warm low-midrange received all the tuning efforts of the Ortofon lab. Above 2 kHz, there is a noticeable smoothing effect. This, I suspect, is the cause of the lackluster belting voice of French-Canadian singer, Dion.

I had a brief audition with the E-Q8. It had trebles that can knock on heaven’s door. I suspect the E-Q5 was purposely tuned this way for easier listening and is marketed as a fun-sounding monitor rather than as a studio monitor. For Grado fans, they may find the rolled-off highs a bit too bland. On the other hand, for the treble-shy people, this may offer endless hours of smooth aural pleasure.

Versus Sony EX-500SL
Sony EX-500SL has the edge in bass reproduction in terms of quantity but easily beaten by eq5 in bass detail and control. Sony’s bass characteristically bleeds into the midrange. Ortofon struts its superiority over the Sonys in midrange detail, imaging and treble extension.

Versus Ortofon E-Q8
Right off the bat, I know that the Ortofon guys knew how to tune their flagship product. The E-Q8’s instrument separation is so clearly delineated you’d suspect they're cut out by a Mako knife. Treble extension of the E-Q8 is a dicey thing for me. Objectively, it is very good. Personally, I find it too hot even though it rivals the capability of some full-sized headphones.

DAP pairing 
The HM700 did make the eq5 sound loud enough but my brain tells me something was off. The Titan gave the much needed bass body that the Hifiman can’t. Like a dish that lacks a key ingredient, alas, I threw in the iPod 6th gen and the VentureCraft DDLE combo and found the Titan’s shortcoming - treble extension. This iPod Classic and VentureCraft pairing was so good it not only remedied the Titan’s top-end deficiency, it also shores up the bottom. However, the ultimate setup was found in the addition of the Chord Hugo. A triple-decked stack that filled in the gaps and added proper imaging and a wider soundstaging to the mix. It’s a bit overdoing it merely to drive a mid-tier universal IEM but that is how appreciably the E-Q5 scales with better sources.

This hobby can be many things to different people. To me, it is a journey. First and obviously, it is a journey of sound, to discover new ones and rediscover the old that I used to love when my heart was stronger and my knees were made of sterner stuff than gelatin. Secondly, it is a journey of temporary escape from the tedium of the daily grind. Lastly, a journey into myself to find my peace and joy that are beyond the prying eyes of the outside world, and where I can be myself without pretense, albeit briefly.

It is in this honest and private world where I found the qualities of the E-Q5 most endearing. Its rolled-off trebles are rolled off at just the right frequency (at around 7 kHz) for me. Its midrange warmth is smack on the borderline between too much and too cold for me. I know, I know. To you it is neither here nor there. But to me? They have won me over.

True, compared to its bigger sibling, the E-Q8, bass reach does not get close enough to be considered a worthy second but the E-Q5 has the bloom that makes bass sound thicker rather than hard-hitting and tight. The cables’ lack of strain relief may be off-putting, but once inserted into my ears, I can forget many a thing around me. Ortofon tips are also among the most comfortable that I’ve worn.

To a self-professed bass-head who loves not-so-aggressive vocals, slightly rolled-off trebles, the E-Q5 is my thing. Sure E-Q8 bested its little brother in every respect except for the price but the formidable E-Q5 held its ground in its class, admirably. I give it a 4/5 score.


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