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Does a custom IEM have the potential to rival full-size headphone rigs?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I was planning a future home rig consisting of a Yulong D100 -> Beta22 -> LCD2. However, i was thinking of the advantages that going for custom IEM's can bring me, which is being able to use the IEM's on the go as well. 

 

My question is, can the top of the line customs, such as the the UM Miracle, ES5, JH13/16 rival the sound of full size cans?

post #2 of 28

Ehh, I'm a little biased at the moment, but I'm going to go ahead and say no. You'll never get the soundstage and imaging that comes from the outer ear.

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your opinions, but have you ever owned high end customs? From your profile, i see the IEM's you owned are universals, although high end ones. Having tried out quite a variety of universals, i agree that they cannot hold a candle to full size cans. I was wondering if customs would prove to be any different.

post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trysaeder View Post

You'll never get the soundstage and imaging that comes from the outer ear.



That goes for all iems. You might get more detail, speed, whatever, but never the above, which I feel is crucial for listening to music.

post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 

I see. Thanks for your opinion. However, besides in areas of soundstage and imaging, which i rank lower in my priorities due the type of music i listen to(alt rock), in areas treble extension, bass impact extension and impact, mids etc.. can they compare?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trysaeder View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Trysaeder View Post

You'll never get the soundstage and imaging that comes from the outer ear.



That goes for all iems. You might get more detail, speed, whatever, but never the above, which I feel is crucial for listening to music.

post #6 of 28

I believe they can match top tier headphones in even soundstage. (Basing my statement completely from reviews). I have a Head-direct RE262 which is a universal IEM and the soundstage and imaging is right up there with my HD650 (imaging is better though). My friend also tried the HD800, JH-13s, LCD-2s etc and he liked the JH-16s better than the others (Though he tried them at CANJAM where the isolation of the custom IEMs would have really helped score more over the open cans like HD800 and LCD-2).

post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 

What about the other aspects of a good headphone - treble, mids, bass. Are custom IEM's able to compete on a equal footing with top of the line cans like HD800,LCD2,T1 etc?

post #8 of 28

I think many head-fiers compared JH13Pro to HD800(read JH13Pro apprecian thread), ED8, ED9, K701 and they favored JH13Pro. These custom IEMs can rival the fullsize headphones rig because they are low impedance and they sound amazing out of MP3 Players HP jack and scale up more with highend AMPs help. So UM Miracle, ES5, JH13Pro/ JH16Pro, UE18Pro are very high custom IEMs and can compete with many fullsize headphones rig.

post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 

Can the truly scale to the level of a high end headphone, connected to a high end amplifier? I know that they would sound great out of a HP jack, but can they match the potential of a high end headphone(LCD2/HD800) connected to a high end amp(beta22/zana deux)?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZARIM View Post

I think many head-fiers compared JH13Pro to HD800(read JH13Pro apprecian thread), ED8, ED9, K701 and they favored JH13Pro. These custom IEMs can rival the fullsize headphones rig because they are low impedance and they sound amazing out of MP3 Players HP jack and scale up more with highend AMPs help. So UM Miracle, ES5, JH13Pro/ JH16Pro, UE18Pro are very high custom IEMs and can compete with many fullsize headphones rig.

post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trysaeder View Post

You'll never get the soundstage and imaging that comes from the outer ear.


 

Not true.

post #11 of 28

maybe we've reached the limits of human hearing/resolution....at one point, we stop hearing the differences/details because they're so minute we can't process it, just like the average human can only hear between 20 and 20,000 hz

 

just my two cents

 

james

post #12 of 28

Quote:

Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post

Not true.


Not true not true.

 

post #13 of 28

There are dynamic iems right now that are open-back, take for JVC FX700, which is also very impressive...it maybe replicating the soundstage and imaging that comes from the outer ear like those full-size cans, only that full-sized cans are bigger with a lot more air movement resulting in a better experience.

 

But imo on today's iems (customs or universal), the gap between both are getting narrow...as better amps, daps, and dacs are produced...like when I heard my JH16 with the Cypher Labs Algorythym Solo and RSA SR71B and compared it with Hifiman HE-6 connected to Rudistor amp, it is somehow getting there. And it is a big contender for the full-size cans setup. And also the portability of the iem setup is the best compared to full-size or even portable phones.

post #14 of 28

I never thought an IEM could rival a full-size headphone, until I heard the JH13s. I find them to be extremely impressive in all areas, however, to me they fail to make the sound seem to come from outside of the head. All the ingredients for a great soundstage are there, the imaging, airiness and pin-point of instruments are really top notch, but then it all sounds as if it's coming from chambers connected to your head - not completely outside your head. Apart from that though, in my opinion, they're up there with the great full-size headphones.

 

If you listen mainly to rock though, there's simply no way you can go wrong with the JH13s. At least to me, soundstaging in rock is not particularly important, and those IEMs have attack and impact to die for. I've never heard anything that sounds this good with rock, including full-size speakers. It's just amazing how they can be so "vicious" and then so delicate when you're listening to some cool jazz.

post #15 of 28

^ Nice post.

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